Latin America & Caribbean

Peru president rules out pardon for ex-leader Fujimori

Peru's jailed, former President Alberto Fujimori, photographed through a glass window, attends his trial at a police base on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Image copyright AP
Image caption Alberto Fujimori was imprisoned in 2007 and is serving a 25-year sentence

Peru's outgoing president, Ollanta Humala, has ruled out a pardon for jailed ex-leader Alberto Fujimori.

Fujimori, who is serving a 25-year sentence for human rights abuses, had requested a pardon on Friday.

Asked about the request on TV, Mr Humala said: "I want to be clear about this, I will not pardon him."

On Thursday, Mr Humala will hand over power to president-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who is also opposed to pardoning Fujimori.

Who is Pedro Pablo Kuczynski?

Under Peruvian law, it is the president's prerogative to pardon prisoners.

This is the second time Fujimori has requested a pardon.

Mr Humala rejected the previous request in 2013, saying that Fujimori's medical records showed he was not in a serious enough condition to warrant a pardon.

Divisive figure

Fujimori led Peru for 10 years from 1990 and is still admired by some Peruvians for combating Peru's Maoist rebel group, The Shining Path, and for bringing about economic growth.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption There have been rallies in Lima demanding that Alberto Fujimori be released

In 2007, he was sentenced to six years in jail for bribery and abuse of power.

In 2009, he was sentenced to another 25 years in prison for human rights abuses committed during his time in office, including authorising killings carried out by death squads.

Fujimori, who will turn 78 on Thursday, has been in and out of hospital for a variety of health problems.

Mr Kuczynski has said that he is considering allowing Fujimori to serve out the rest of his term under house arrest "as has been done with people of similar age and health problems.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has said he would consider granting Fujimori house arrest

Mr Kuczynski, from the centre-right party Peruvians for Change party, narrowly won the presidential elections on 5 June, beating Alberto Fujimori's daughter Keiko into second place.

The presidential campaign re-awakened divisions among those Peruvians who still admire Alberto Fujimori and those who loathe him.

Thousands of people took to the streets to express their opposition to Fujimorismo, the political movement created by him and followed by Keiko.

But there have also been rallies by people demanding the former president be released.

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