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Peruvian constitutional court orders release of former President Alberto Fujimori

Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori listens to a question during his testimony in a courtroom at a military base in Callao, Peru, March 15, 2018.
Martin Mejia
/
AP
Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori listens to a question during his testimony in a courtroom at a military base in Callao, Peru, March 15, 2018.

LIMA, Peru — Peru's constitutional court ordered an immediate humanitarian release Tuesday for imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori, 85, who was serving a 25-year sentence in connection with the death squad slayings of 25 Peruvians in the 1990s.

The court ruled in favor of a 2017 pardon that had granted the former leader a release on humanitarian grounds but that later was annulled.

In a resolution seen by The Associated Press, the court told the state prisons agency to immediately release Fujimori "on the same day."

Fujimori was sentenced in 2009 to 25 years in prison on charges of human rights abuses. He had been accused of being the mastermind behind the slayings of 25 Peruvians by a military death squad during his administration from 1990 to 2000, while the government fought the Shining Path communist rebels.

Fujimori's 2017 pardon granted by then-President Pablo Kuczynski was annulled under pressure from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and its status was the subject of legal wrangling since then.

The constitutional court previously had ordered a lower court in the southern city of Ica to release Fujimori, but that court declined to do so, arguing in ruling last Friday that it lacked the authority. It returned the matter instead to the constitutional court.

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The Associated Press