© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A follower of Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori holding a placard stands outside a prison, after a top court reinstated the pardon of Fujimori, in Lima, Peru, November 29, 2023. REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda/File Photo
By Marco Aquino
LIMA (Reuters) -Ex-President Alberto Fujimori and his family were dealt consecutive blows on Friday, after courts blocked the imprisoned former leader’s pardon while mandating that his daughter and political heir, Keiko Fujimori, face trial for alleged money laundering.
Friday’s decision marked the third such time the controversial former leader’s pardon from prison has been blocked.
Fujimori, 85, is serving a 25-year sentence for human rights abuses and corruption. Earlier this week, Peru’s top constitutional court had ruled to restore his pardon, spurring an international court to urge Peru’s government to overrule it.
The former president, who was in power through the 1990s, received a presidential pardon in 2017. However, pressure from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) has repeatedly snarled his attempts to regain freedom.
Fujimori’s lawyer, Elio Riera, said in a radio interview that his legal team was considering all avenues to have the pardon restored.
Fujimori was convicted of ordering the massacre of 25 people in 1991 and 1992 while his government was fighting against the Shining Path guerrillas.
Fujimori dissolved Congress in 1992 and stayed in power for nearly a decade.
His eldest daughter, Keiko, built a powerful force in Congress but failed three times to clinch the presidency, losing most recently in 2021 to Pedro Castillo, who was removed from office a year ago for attempting to dissolve Congress.
She will now be put on trial for allegedly receiving illegal campaign contributions from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht and a Peruvian bank after a judge on Friday gave the green light.
Her father and Castillo are now jailed at the same prison, along with former President Alejandro Toledo, who is also accused of receiving millions in bribes from Odebrecht.