Imprisoned Fujimori transferred to clinic with irregular heartbeat


Lima (AFP)

Peru's former president Alberto Fujimori, currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for corruption and human rights abuses, was transferred from his cell to a clinic Saturday suffering low blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat, his doctor said.

The 79-year-old had suffered a "sudden drop of pressure with marked arrhythmia" since morning, prompting his transfer to Lima's Japanese Peruvian Centenary Clinic, his chief medic Alejandro Aguinaga told AFP.

"A cardiologist has examined him and we decided to transfer him to the Centenary Clinic. He is a little frail. It is a little complicated," said Aguinaga.

Fujimori, in office from 1990 to 2000 and imprisoned since 2005, was admitted amid rumors he could be pardoned this Christmas -- days after his supporters in Congress were divided over the impeachment of current President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, which did not obtain the necessary votes.

The impeachment charges were pushed by an opposition headed by his daughter Keiko Fujimori, leader of the Fujimorist Popular Force party.

Meanwhile, Fujimori's youngest son Kenji, who leads the campaign for his father's pardon, was one of nine opposition members to abstain from the vote -- allowing Kuczynski to narrowly dodge impeachment.

Kenji Fujimori's more moderate line has recently set him at odds with his sister, who was defeated by Kuczynski in last year's presidential election.

"I imagine (Alberto Fujimori) has been affected by everything that has happened this week," Aguinaga added.

The former president has been treated for the same ailment before, most recently in September.

Despite the abuses he committed following his 1992 military-backed self-coup, Fujimori maintains popularity among Peruvians, who value his achievements in stabilizing Peru's economy and defeating Sendero Luminoso and MRTA guerrillas.

Political analyst Luis Benavente told AFP a possible pardon for Fujimori could be a way for Kuczynski to pay off his political debt to Kenji Fujimori following Thursday's impeachment vote.