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Appeal ruling could make Fujimori eligible for pardon

November 12th, 2009 · No Comments

 (Keiko Fujimori, daughter of the former president, is one of the leading candidates for the 2011 presidential elections in Peru. Photo: Praxis)


According to Peruvian law, persons convicted for crimes against humanity are not eligible to be considered for pardon.  Since former president Alberto Fujimori was convicted for crimes against humanity, this is one of the aspects up for debate in his upcoming appeal against his 25-year sentence for rights violations. The central argument of Fujimori’s sentence is that he committed crimes against humanity — an argument which can be upheld or overturned by the court ruling on the appeal.

The hearing for the appeal will take place from Nov. 23 to 25.  Less than a month after, the court will have to issue its final decision.  If the Transitory Criminal Court concludes that the charges of murder and kidnapping against Fujimori do not constitute crimes against humanity, then the former president will be eligible to receive a presidential pardon.

Jurist and former judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Diego García Sayán, said that there is a possibility for pardon only if the definitive ruling does not explicitly say that he committed crimes against humanity.  He added that considering the presidential elections in 2011, this “opens” possibilities.  Fujimori’s daughter, Keiko Fujimori, is currently one of the leading candidates for the elections and promises to pardon her father if elected.

Meanwhile, in comments to Fujimori on Trial, panelist Mario Amoretti insisted that the right to pardon Fujimori’s sentence will depend on whether the Transitory Criminal Court upholds the thesis of the sentence — that Fujimori committed crimes against humanity by implementing a policy of dirty or low intensity war against subversive groups in Peru during his mandate from 1990 to 2000, which included the extrajudicial executions of 25 innocent people at the hands of a military death squad.

Amoretti said that if this thesis is upheld, then Fujimori will not have access to a pardon.  But if the court changes the conviction to murder, he will.

Pro-Fujimori congressman, Rolando Sousa, recently announced on the National Radio Coordinator that as the sentence stands, it is impossible for the former president to be pardoned since this is not in line with Peru’s legal norms.

“As is, the pardon cannot go forward.  We hope that the Supreme Court and international courts will say that this has not been a case of crimes against humanity, and then things could change,” he said. 

He explained that it is likely that the Transitory Criminal Court rules that this was not a crime against humanity since the murders occurred in 1991 and 1992, while crimes against humanity were recently implemented to Peru’s Penal Code in 1998.


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