Peru's pardoned Fujimori says has tumor, denies political comeback

FILE PHOTO - Former President of Peru Alberto Fujimori attends a trial as a witness at the navy base in Callao, Peru March 15, 2018. Picture taken through a window. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru’s former leader Alberto Fujimori, who was pardoned for corruption and human rights abuse and freed from jail in December, ruled out a return to politics on Friday evening and said doctors had discovered a tumor in his lungs.

Fujimori, who ruled Peru from 1990 to 2000, also said in a statement to a local television channel that the fighting between his daughter Keiko and son Kenji for control of Peru’s largest opposition party “is temporary.”

“A small tumor in one of the lungs has been detected... I must be under observation every four months,” said Fujimori in front of a Lima hospital.

Fujimori, 79, was pardoned by former president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski less than halfway through a 25-year sentence for corruption and human rights abuse late last year.

Just before, Kuczynski had survived an impeachment vote in Congress thanks to the support of dissident legislators from the Popular Force party of former presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, including brother Kenji.

Kuczynski, plagued by accusations of corruption and allegations of vote buying in Congress, resigned in March and Vice President Martin Vizcarra took power.

Since being released from prison, Fujimori has commented on the state of politics in Peru on Twitter. But he ruled out a comeback, telling the America Television channel on Friday, “I have already retired from politics.”

Fujimori, who suffers from hypertension and has had a cancerous tongue lesion, said he does not feel comfortable with the struggle between his children over the control of the Popular Force party, which is currently divided in Congress.

“At the moment there are certain discrepancies but in the end this will be clarified,” he said.

Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Caroline Stauffer