By Ken Schwartz
Former Peruvian strongman Alberto Fujimori is pleading with the current president not to send him back to prison, saying it would be a “death sentence.”
The Peruvian Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Fujimori was not entitled to be freed from jail last year because he was convicted of crimes against humanity. The court ruled he was not entitled to a pardon under Peruvian and international law.
“Please do not kill me,” Fujimori begged from a hospital bed message to President Martin Vizcarra. “If I return to prison, my heart will not support it. It is too weak to go through the same thing again. Don’t sentence me to death. I can give no more.”
Peruvian Interior Minister Mauro Medina appeared unmoved by the ex-dictator’s plea.
“He is already considered a prisoner. He is expected to leave the clinic to take him to the penitentiary,” Medina told Peruvian radio.
Fujimori was serving a 25-year-long sentence for crimes against humanity when he got a medical pardon last year and moved into a rented mansion in Lima.
Fujimori is revered by some Peruvians and despised by others. He was elected in 1990 and in his 10 years in power, he put down a rebellion by the leftist Shining Path guerillas and saved Peru from economic ruin.
But Fujimori was an authoritarian leader whose far-right death squads massacred civilians as part of operations against the guerillas.
He was also accused of massive corruption and fled Peru for Japan in 2000, when he was mocked for handing in his resignation by fax.
Fujimori was arrested in Chile in 2006 and put on trial in Peru.
Former Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski pardoned Fujimori last Christmas and barely survived an impeachment vote with the help from Fujimori allies in Congress.
Kuczynski resigned in March and is under investigation for the pardon.