Peru constitutional court orders release of ex-president Fujimori

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Peru's constitutional court on Thursday ordered the release of disgraced former president Alberto Fujimori, who is serving a 25-year sentence for crimes against humanity, a judicial source said.

The court reinstated a pardon given to the 83-year-old in December 2017 that was subsequently revoked in October 2018, the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The court's decisions cannot be appealed and the source said Fujimori should be released within a few days.

Fujimori, who was president from 1990 to 2000, is serving a 25-year sentence for two massacres committed by army death squads in 1991 and 1992, in which 25 people, including a child, were killed in a supposed anti-terrorist operation.

Upon leaving office he fled into exile, originally to the land of his ancestors, Japan.

But he was extradited back to Peru from Chile in 2007 and jailed, having been convicted in his absence.

The source said the vote on whether to release Fujimori was equally split three for and three against.

"The rules say that when it is a draw, the president's vote counts double," the source told AFP.

Fujimori has long suffered from ill health and on Monday returned to prison following 11 days in a clinic receiving treatment for an irregular heartbeat.

He is the only inmate at the small Barbadillo jail at the barracks of the special operations police in eastern Lima.