Peru's president pardons ex-leader Fujimori, citing his health

FILE PHOTO - Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori waves as he enters the courtroom before his trial at the Special Police Headquarters in Lima April 1, 2009. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares/File Photo

LIMA (Reuters) - Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski pardoned former authoritarian leader Alberto Fujimori late on Sunday, clearing him of convictions for human rights crimes and graft before completion of a 25-year prison sentence.

Kuczynski’s office said in a statement that a medical review showed that Fujimori, 79, who governed Peru from 1990 to 2000, suffered from “a progressive, degenerative and incurable disease.”

The pardon comes just days after a faction of Fujimori’s supporters in the opposition-controlled Congress saved Kuczynski from a motion that would have forced him from office in the wake of a graft scandal. [nL1N1OL160]

Reporting by Marco Aquino; Editing by Leslie Adler