Lima, Dec 6 (EFE). – Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) was released from prison on Wednesday evening by order of the Constitutional Court. The release came despite a request to the contrary from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR).
Fujimori left the “Barbadillo” prison, east of Lima, shortly before 6:30 pm local time, a day after the Constitutional court ordered his “immediate release.”
As he left the prison, the former president, wearing a mask, embraced his daughter, Keiko Fujimori, the leader of the Fujimori Popular Force party, and his son Kenji.
He greeted some of those present who were close to the family, the defense and the party, and got into a gray car with his children and his daughter-in-law.
As the former head of state passed the last checkpoint of the prison, dozens of supporters who had been waiting for him all day greeted him with cheers, music and fireworks.
But such was the anticipation of his release that the car was held up for nearly 30 minutes, barely able to move through the nearby streets as supporters, police and press who surrounded the vehicle.
Local media reported that the former president was headed to Keiko Fujimori’s home in the San Borja neighborhood.
Fujimori’s release was delayed for several hours due to a biometric problem at the Barbadillo prison, where former presidents Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006) and Pedro Castillo (2021-2022) are also being held.
The Constitutional Court ordered on Tuesday the immediate release of Fujimori, following the pardon granted to him in 2017 by the then president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018).
The resolution was signed by 3 of the current 6 members of the Constitutional court, with the casting vote of the court’s president, Francisco Morales.
Morales declared that the authorities should “proceed to the immediate release” of Fujimori, in defiance of two resolutions of the Inter-American Court.
The new ruling by the Constitutional Court came after a court in the southern region of Ica declared the first resolution, which reinstated the pardon, inadmissible on Friday.
Morales “severely admonished” the judge of Ica on Tuesday and urged him to “exercise more diligence and zeal in the performance of his duties in the execution of the rulings granting habeas corpus.”
Also, on Tuesday evening, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, through a resolution of “urgent measures,” asked the State of Peru to refrain from releasing former President Alberto Fujimori, at least until the Court has “all the necessary elements to analyze whether the decision complies with the established conditions.
The controversial leader
At the beginning of his third term, Fujimori fled to Japan, the country of his parents’ origin, and resigned from the presidency to avoid a growing number of criminal cases against him.
In 2005, however, he decided to return and flew to Chile with the intention of returning to Peru and running for president again, but was arrested and extradited due to an international arrest warrant against him.
In 2009, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for crimes against humanity for the death squad killings of 25 people in the La Cantuta and Barrios Altos massacres in the 90s.
Then, in 2017, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski granted the former president a humanitarian pardon for health reasons – he had pre-cancerous lesions on his tongue – in order to gain Kenji Fujimori’s support in Congress.
Kuczynski needed the support of the former president’s son in the face of impeachment proceedings against the president for his links to the international corruption scandal of Odebrecht.