LIMA – Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori on Saturday criticized the arrest of his daughter, Keiko, for alleged money laundering and pleaded with his feuding children, who are battling to lead the biggest party in Congress, to join forces.
“I have never felt greater pain in my life than I did seeing my daughter detained and hauled off to prison,” the 80-year-old Fujimori said from a Lima medical clinic where he has been held since Oct. 3, when Peru’s Supreme Court revoked his pardon for crimes against humanity. The former president suffers heart problems.
Keiko Fujimori, 43, was detained earlier this week in connection with a sweeping graft scandal involving Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht. Prosecutors are looking into contributions to her unsuccessful 2011 presidential campaign.
She denies all wrongdoing.
The elder Fujimori, who had served 12 years in prison — nearly half the 25-year sentence — before being pardoned last December, asked Keiko and her younger brother, Kenji, to be “more united than ever.”
“I give her all my love and support during this difficult time,” he said in an audio message from his hospital bed sent to AFP and other media outlets along with a photo of himself.
He also asked authorities to ensure “due process” for his daughter.
Keiko Fujimori is the leader of Peru’s Popular Force party. Her brother leads a rival faction. They could face off in the 2021 presidential election.
Alberto Fujimori, a Peruvian of Japanese descent, remains popular despite ruling the country with an iron fist between 1990 and 2000, and his subsequent conviction.
That popularity has allowed his children to flourish in politics.