Crime & Justice

Peruvian government silent on Inter-American Court’s request not to release Fujimori

Lima, Dec 6 (EFE). – The government of Peruvian President Dina Boluarte remained completely silent on Wednesday in the wake of conflicting rulings regarding the release from prison of former president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) by the nation’s Constitutional Court and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

However, according to local media, the government has decided to abide by the decision of the national court to release the former president, which would mean disobeying the international order.

The head of the National Penitentiary Institute, Javier Llaque, the only official that has addressed the issue, indicated that Fujimori was not released on Tuesday due to a clerical error, which he said would be corrected on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday evening, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights requested the State of Peru, through a resolution of “urgent measures,” 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.”

Fujimori’s supporters enthusiastically awaited his release at the gates of Barbadillo prison, while relatives of the victims of the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres, for which the former president was sentenced, protested in front of the Constitutional Court.

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.

But in 2005 he decided to come back 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.

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 former president’s son backing in the face of a presidential impeachment process for his connection to the international corruption scandal Odebrecht.

The humanitarian pardon was annulled months later due to alleged irregularities and following an appeal by the Inter-American Court, which called on the Peruvian state to guarantee justice for the victims of the massacres.

Fujimori’s lawyer filed a habeas corpus petition in March 2022 to once again request the release of his client, but it bounced from one court to another without a definitive resolution, leading to Thursday’s ruling by the Constitutional Court ordering his release, which has yet to be complied with.

The 85-year-old remains in Barbadillo prison, east of Lima, along with former presidents Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006) and Pedro Castillo (2021-2022). EFE

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