Just days after the children of jailed former president of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, made a formal petition for a presidential pardon for their father, a photograph showing the ailing former leader lying in a prison bed began circulating on the internet. Fujimori's lawyer denied that the image was part of a ploy to win his release.
The lawyer, César Nakazaki, rejected notions that the former president had agreed to have the photograph released. It shows the 73-year-old looking weak in a bed, clutching his stomach. "It certainly wasn't Alberto Fujimori who decided to release this photograph. Whoever presented this photo - and to be clear, it wasn't me - was thinking about the questions concerning his health. Today, looking at the photograph on Facebook, I saw how people were making fun of him and his sickness."
Fujimori is serving a 25-year sentence for two massacres that took place in Barrios Altos and La Cantuta during his 1990-2000 rule as president.
On October 10, his children Keiko, Kenji, Hiro and Sachi Fujimori formally filed a petition with President Ollanta Humala asking him to pardon their father. Included in the petition was a letter written by the former leader asking that the government view his request objectively. "We're making this request for a humanitarian pardon based on medical reasons" said the jailed leader's oldest daughter Keiko, a lawmaker who ran against Humala for the presidency in 2011.
Fujimori is serving a 25-year sentence for two massacres that took place in Barrios Altos and La Cantuta
Nakazaki claimed that Fujimori is suffering from cancer, but gave no further details and did not say whether his illness was terminal.
Last week, Prime Minister Juan Jiménez Mayor and Justice Minister Eda Rivas said that they were dealing with 117 petitions filed by other inmates asking for pardons. Cecilia Chacón, a lawmaker representing Fujimori's party, said that the former president's letter to Humala was probably his answer to "the unfortunate statements" made by Jiménez Mayor and Rivas. "By saying that there are 117 inmates waiting for a pardon, they are basically telling him to wait in line," Chacón said.
But Rivas clarified on Tuesday that Fujimori's request will be evaluated under the standards of international law.