The Peruvian congressperson Keiko Fujimori has suggested that her father, the former president Alberto Fujimori, sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for human rights violations could be released before the end of Alan Garcia’s term in July 2011, according to declarations published on Sunday, 27 December 2009, in the Lima press.
Planning to run for the Peruvian presidency with the promise to pardon her father, this congressperson has placed her hopes on the final review of the legal ruling by the Peruvian Supreme Court’s Transitory Criminal Court which will decide soon if it reduces or maintains his sentence.
“I don’t believe that he is going to need it (the pardon),” stated Keiko Fujimori to the newspaper, Expreso, on the possibility of granting a pardon to her father if she takes power in July 2011 as Garcia’s successor.
“I am waiting for the sentence from the First Transitory Court. The Attorney General has determined that aggravated kidnapping did not occur, which will be a big and important step in my father’s defense. I trust that he will soon be free,” added the thirty-four year old congressperson.
The legal ruling that will determine Fujimori’s definitive luck should be known before the end of 2009, according to judicial sources.
An eventual modification of the legal typology of the crimes could favor the seventy-one year old former president. For example, if the court that reviews Fujimori’s case decides that the kidnappings of journalist Gustavo Gorriti and businessperson Samuel Dyer in 1992, whose carrying out is attributed to him, do not constitute an aggravated crime, then his sentence of 25 years could be reduced and he could have access to prison benefits which would allow him to leave prison before fulfilling his full sentence.
In the same manner, if the court concludes that the Barrios Altos (1991) and La Cantuta (1992) massacres, that also are attributed to Fujimori, do not constitute crimes against humanity but rather aggravated homicide, then the former president could see his sentence considerably reduced.
In April 2009, the justice system sentenced Fujimori for cases typified, or legally defined, as crimes against humanity for the death of 25 people at the hands of an Army death squad. According to the judges, within the framework of the struggle against the Shining Path guerrilla, he directed this death squad from the presidency.
Fujimori’s lawyers, who appealed the ruling in April, have pointed out that a sentence of 25 years for a person over the age of 70 is equivalent to a life sentence and a death sentence while alive.
Election surveys place Keiko Fujimori among the two candidates with the most possibility of being elected in the presidential elections to be held in the first half of 2011.
The congressperson’s popularity is tied to the good perception that Fujimori left during his time in power, where the Peruvian people highlight his direct struggle against Shining Path terrorism.
Alberto Fujimori, for whom rumors circulate regarding his health, governed Peru from 1990 to 2000, has been imprisoned in a police base on Lima’s eastside since September 2007 when he was extradited from Chile.