LIMA – Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was taken on Wednesday to a Lima hospital by an ambulance shortly before authorities could executed a capture order against him with an eye toward returning him to prison after the pardon he was granted in December was overturned by the country’s high court.
Fujimori had been serving a 25-year sentence in a Lima prison since 2009 after being convicted of crimes against humanity during his 1990-2000 administration.
The 80-year-old former president was not seen leaving his home in an exclusive capital neighborhood, although it is known that his daughters Keiko and Sachi visited him earlier in the day.
Fujimori was admitted to the Centenario Peruano Japonesa hospital accompanied by his younger son Kenji, who was in the ambulance that brought his father to the health center.
“As the son of Alberto Fujimori, it is my human duty to be with him at his most difficult times. Today, once again, I’m with you in an ambulance. I love you and if I have to give up my life and even my freedom for you, I will do so. I feel great sadness,” Kenji Fujimori said on Wednesday on Twitter.
Kenji is considered to be the political sponsor of the pardon that former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski granted to his father last Christmas.
The pardon was granted amid suspicions it was a political agreement, given that it came just three days after Kuczynski avoided impeachment thanks to the votes of 10 opposition lawmakers led by Kenji Fujimori and just two weeks after receiving the recommendation of a medical board that included the inmate’s personal physician.
Citing “humanitarian reasons,” Kuczynski said he pardoned Fujimori due to the health issues affecting the former leader, which include precancerous lesions on the tongue, hypertension and stomach problems.
However, a chamber of Peru’s Supreme Court on Wednesday revoked the pardon and ordered Fujimori’s return to prison.
Judge Hugo Nuñez Julca considered there to be a valid basis for a civil request to nullify the pardon Fujimori received on Dec. 24, 2017, the court said on Twitter.
The same magistrate ordered Fujimori’s “location and capture” so that he might be sent back to prison.
Nuñez Julca determined that the pardon was granted under irregular circumstances, without impartiality and without the proper actions by the medical board that prepared a report on Fujimori’s health situation, specifically failing to cite what “serious and degenerative” – albeit non-fatal – condition the ex-president was suffering from.
Alberto Fujimori’s government collapsed in the Fall of 2000 amid a burgeoning corruption scandal involving spy chief and top adviser Vladimiro Montesinos.
When the dismissal of Montesinos failed to appease public outrage, Fujimori fled Peru for Japan, from where he faxed his resignation as president.
Tokyo granted Fujimori asylum by virtue of the Japanese citizenship his emigrant parents obtained for him at the time of his birth in Peru. Had Peruvian authorities known of his dual citizenship, he would never have been allowed to run for president.
Although he was safe from extradition in Japan, the president traveled to Chile unexpectedly on Nov. 6, 2005, apparently with hopes of returning to Peru to compete in the 2006 presidential election.
But Chilean authorities promptly arrested him on an Interpol warrant and he was ultimately turned over to Peru.
Fujimori was convicted in 2009 for 25 killings carried out in the early 1990s by the covert military unit Colina.