LIMA – Former President Alberto Fujimori, sentenced in 2005 to 25 years in prison for crimes against humanity, thanked on Monday the current head of state, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who pardoned him, and apologized for having “disappointed” some Peruvians.
“I am aware that my administration’s actions were well received by some, but I acknowledge that they disappointed other people,” the 79-year-old Fujimori said in a message videotaped at the medical facility where he was admitted on Friday.
“To them, I ask forgiveness from my heart,” Fujimori said.
Fujimori, who governed Peru from 1990-2000, said in the message, which was posted on his Facebook page, that the pardon surprised him.
“It shocked me, and I am feeling extremely joyous but also regretful,” Fujimori said.
Kuczynski granted Fujimori a blanket pardon that also covers all pending sentences and prosecutions.
“This obliges me, in this new phase, to support his (Kuczynski’s) call for reconciliation,” Fujimori said.
The pardon was met with protests as leftist political parties repudiated Kuczynski’s decision, which was made public only three days after the president avoided removal from office by Congress following an investigation of his links to a corruption case involving Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.
Kuczynski escaped removal from office due to the abstention by 10 lawmakers led by Fujimori’s youngest son, Kenki, who had earlier asked the president to pardon his father.
The elder Fujimori was convicted of direct responsibility in the 1991 killings of 25 people in the Barrios Altos district and the 1992 La Cantuta massacre carried out by the Colina paramilitary group.
Fujimori was also found guilty in the kidnappings of a journalist and a businessman in 1992.
A medical board certified that Fujimori, who has a heart condition and high blood pressure, is dealing with the effects of six operations for tongue cancer and has a lumbar hernia.