MS Risk Blog

Fujimori Granted Pardon by President Kuczynski

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Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was pardoned on 24th December 2017 by Peruvian President Kuczynski. In a statement released, Kuczynski stated that “A medical panel has determined Mr Fujimori has a progressive, degenerative and incurable disease and the jail conditions present a grave risk to his life and health”. On the 25th of December, protests erupted across the country in response to the pardoning. Protestors have called for an annulment of the pardoning and the immediate resignation of Kuczynski, with 4 people being detained after police and protestors clashed. As of the 9th of January, Kuczynski has had to replace over half of his 19 member cabinet after the pardoning of Fujimori triggered a wave of political resignations.

Fujimori, who was in power between 1990- 2000, left Peru in 2000 to attend a summit in Brunei, and travelled to Japan soon after where he stayed after faxing his resignation and remained there in self-imposed exile. In 2001, Peruvian congress authorised charges to be brought against Fujimori, after which Interpol put out a warrant for his arrest. Japan however was not amenable to the extradition of Fujimori. In November 2005, Fujimori landed in Chile, but was arrests just hours after his arrival. In September 2007, Fujimori was finally extradited to Peru and arrested. Peruvian congress lifted the immunity that comes with being a former leader to allow criminal charges and prosecution to be brought against him.

In 2007, Fujimori was sentenced to 6 years in jail on charges of ordering an illegal search and seizure. Fujimori then had further charges brought against him, and in April 2009 was convicted of human rights violations and sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in killings and kidnappings by the Grupo Colina death squad during his government’s battle against leftist guerrillas in the 1990s. Just months later, Fujimori was sentence to a further 7 and a half years after admitting to giving $15 million to intelligence service chief Vladimiro Montesinos from the Peruvian treasury. A fourth charge of bribery was brought against him giving him an additional 6 year sentence. In total, Fujimori was given almost 45 years’ worth of sentences, however under Peruvian law would only serve the maximum term of 25 years for all of his crimes. At the time of his pardoning, Fujimori was only 12 years into his 25 year sentence.

The Inter-American Human Rights Court has held a public hearing on the legality of Peru’s humanitarian pardon. At the hearing, the victims’ families have testified against the pardoning. They hope to have Fujimori’s pardoning annulled and have argued the pardoning itself was ‘illegal’ and ‘arbitrary’. With protests continuing regarding the pardoning, it looks unlikely the matter will be resolved anytime soon.