Inter-American Court orders Peru not to release Fujimori from prison

Former President of Peru Alberto Fujimori attends a trial as a witness at the navy base in Callao, Peru March 15, 2018. Picture taken through a window. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

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LIMA, April 8 (Reuters) — The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) on Friday confirmed a ruling ordering Peru not to release jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori, who was on the verge of leaving prison last month after a presidential pardon was reinstated.

The decision overrules Peru’s top local court, which had ruled on March 17 to allow Fujimori’s release. The local court had reinstated a controversial 2017 presidential pardon for Fujimori on health concerns that had already once been overturned in part due to decisions issued by the Costa Rica-based IACHR.

The IACHR told Peru in late March to abstain from releasing Fujimori until the Court could review the matter. The new decision closes the door on Fujimori leaving prison for now.

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Fujimori, 83, is serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights violations and remains a highly polarizing figure in Peru, which he governed between 1990 and 2000 before resigning in disgrace amid corruption scandals.

He is hailed by some for having restored economic stability and defeating the brutal Shining Path Maoist guerrilla group. But he was also condemned for his violent methods, including using death squads and sending the military to shut down Congress and the judiciary in 1992.

Peru is a member of the IACHR court and has in the past obeyed its rulings, which have the power to override any local order.

Peru’s current government has said it will obey any IACHR decisions.

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Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun;
Editing by Sandra Maler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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