Fujimori writing autobiography in prison

Peru's former president Alberto Fujimori, in prison for rights abuses during his 10-year rule, said Tuesday he's writing his autobiography.

In a handwritten note to RPP radio, the 75-year-old Fujimori said President Ollanta Humala's refusal to grant him a pardon on medical grounds was a "low blow" but said he had moved on to a new stage of life.

"I now devote more time to painting and also to writing my autobiography, some summary paragraphs of which I will deliver on a regular basis," he said.

"Even though my maladies, among them severe depression, give me no reprieve either, and continue to bother me in recurrent fashion, I have not lost my lucidity," he said.

An agronomist of Japanese descent, Fujimori was little known when he was elected president in 1990, defeating novelist Mario Vargas Llosa in an upset.

He initially gained immense popularity by rescuing the Peruvian economy, but used it to dissolve Congress, rewrite the constitution, and wage a bitter no-holds-barred counter-insurgency campaign.

Forced to resign in 2000, he fled to Japan but was extradited in 2007 to face charges at home.

In 2009, Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in prison for human rights violations committed during his presidency.

He is serving out his sentence at a police base in Lima where he is allowed visits from friends and family members but not the media.