Peru leader to consult doctors on Fujimori 'medical pardon'

Peru's president said Friday night that a group of doctors will help him determine whether a "medical pardon" should be given to ex-President Alberto Fujimori, who is in jail for abuses committed during his 1990-2000 strongman reign.

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski made the comment during an interview with local broadcaster Radioprogramas as thousands of Peruvians took to the streets to protest against the idea of releasing Fujimori.

The 78-year-old ex-president is serving a 25-year sentence for human rights abuses, corruption and sanctioning death squads. Fujimori filed a request for a pardon a year ago, citing his deteriorating health.

Kuczynski said he would probably make a decision by the end of the year after consulting with doctors. He stressed that any "medical pardon" would not be a pardon for Fujimori's crimes.

"This is exclusively determined by the opinion of top doctors who will see the state of health of former President Fujimori," Kuczynski said.

Peruvian law provides that no person convicted of murder or kidnapping can receive a presidential pardon unless except in the case of a terminal illness. Three previous requests from Fujimori for pardons since 2013 were rejected after doctors said he did not suffer from incurable illness or severe mental disorder.