LIMA, Peru — Former President Alberto Fujimori, in his first public statement since being granted a medical pardon, acknowledged on Tuesday that he had disappointed many Peruvians and asked for forgiveness “with all my heart.”
A video of Mr. Fujimori speaking from a hospital bed was released on his official Facebook page on Tuesday. The former leader, who had been imprisoned for human rights abuses, also thanked President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who had granted the pardon.
“I am aware that the results during my government on one side were well received,” Mr. Fujimori said in the video. “On the other hand, I recognize that I have also disappointed other fellow Peruvians. I ask them to forgive me with all my heart.”
The decision to pardon Mr. Fujimori, who is 79 and has cardiac arrhythmia and tongue cancer, among other medical problems, prompted an outcry across the nation. Thousands have taken to the streets across the country to protest the move.
In a televised address on Monday, Mr. Kuczynski defended his decision as justified clemency for an ailing man whose authoritarian government had helped the country progress. He urged protesters to “turn the page” and accept it.
“I am convinced that those of us who feel democratic should not allow Alberto Fujimori to die in prison, because justice is not revenge,” Mr. Kuczynski said, adding, “This has been perhaps the most difficult decision of my life.”
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