Latin America & Caribbean

Peru's ex-President Fujimori ordered to stand trial again

Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori accompanied by his son Kenji Fujimori leaves Centenario hospital in Lima, 4 January 2018 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ex-President Alberto Fujimori was pardoned last Christmas and freed in January

Peru's ex-President Alberto Fujimori has been ordered to stand trial for the 1992 killings of six farmers.

It comes just over a month after he was released from prison, where he was serving 25 years for human rights abuses and corruption.

The 79-year-old was given a pardon on health grounds but the court in the capital Lima says this does not apply to the new case.

He says he is innocent and will appeal against the court's ruling.

His daughter Keiko Fujimori, who ran for president in 2016 but was defeated by current President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, said that she was confident that her father would be acquitted.

She also said that the decision should "not be an excuse to jail a man of advanced age and fragile health, Alberto Fujimori deserves to confront this while free".

The court also wants to try 22 others for the death-squad killings.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Police fought running battles with protesters in Lima in December

When President Kuczynski granted the pardon in December, there were street protests in the capital, Lima.

Fujimori is a deeply divisive figure in Peru, respected by some and reviled by others for his government's crackdown on two violent insurgencies during his tenure from 1990-2000.

How has Fujimori responded?

Speaking after the ruling, his lawyer, Miguel Perez, said his client was prepared for the legal process ahead.

"Mr Fujimori is not scared or does not oppose being summoned in this process as a defendant," he said.

On what grounds was the pardon granted?

He has low blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat.

In December, President Kuczynski's office said he had decided to grant him a "humanitarian pardon".

Doctors, it added, had "determined that Mr Fujimori suffers from a progressive, degenerative and incurable illness and that prison conditions represent a grave risk to his life".

Mr Kuczynski later said: "I am convinced that those of us who consider ourselves democrats cannot allow Alberto Fujimori to die in prison. Justice is not vengeance. All pardons are by nature controversial."

Mr Kuczynski denies pardoning Fujimori as part of a deal with his party last year to avoid his own impeachment, for allegedly receiving illegal payments from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

What was Fujimori convicted of?

In 2007, he was sentenced to six years in jail for bribery and abuse of power but two years later was sentenced to another 25 years in prison for human rights abuses committed during his time in office.

He was found guilty of authorising other killings carried out by death squads.

An estimated 69,000 people died in the conflict between left-wing insurgents and Fujimori's authoritarian government.

Related Topics

More on this story