Peru's Keiko Fujimori says would pardon father if elected president

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LIMA (Reuters) - Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori plans to pardon her father, Alberto Fujimori, a controversial former leader who is serving a 25-year prison sentence for abuse of human rights, if she is elected the country’s leader in an April vote.

“After what we have had to live through, I’m in favor of a pardon for my father and I prefer to say it like that, openly,” she told América Televisión late on Sunday, adding even if her bid failed she would still seek a pardon for her 82-year-old father.

Keiko Fujimori, 45, currently sits second in election polls ahead of the April 11 vote, with 8% of the voting intention. Former soccer goalkeeper George Forsyth, 38, leads with 17% support, according to a recent poll.

Alberto Fujimori, who ruled for two consecutive terms between 1990 and 2000, was convicted in 2009 of ordering the murder of 25 people, including a minor, committed by a paramilitary group in the early 1990s in the midst of a war between the state and the rebel group Sendero Luminoso.

He received a humanitarian pardon in 2017 from then president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, but that was later annulled by the Supreme Court over irregularities.

“After everything we have seen and what we have been through, I believe that what my father has experienced is enough and that has made me change my mind,” said Keiko Fujimori, who leads the right-wing Popular Force party.

The younger Fujimori has herself twice been held under pretrial detention amid a tax investigation for money laundering and allegedly receiving money from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht for her 2011 election campaign.

She denies the accusations.

Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Steve Orlofsky