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Former Peruvian President Fujimori extradited to face rights, corruption charges at home

    SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was flown to his home country in police custody Saturday, one day after the Chilean Supreme Court authorized his extradition on human rights and corruption charges.
    A Peruvian police aircraft carrying the 69-year-old former ruler departed just before 9 a.m. EDT from the Santiago airport for the 4 1/2-hour flight to Lima, the Peruvian capital, with at least one refueling stopover.
    A blue-and-white Chilean police helicopter flew Fujimori to the airport from the suburban residence where he remained for months under house arrest awaiting the court ruling on his extradition trial.
    The Supreme Court ruled that Fujimori should be extradited on two rights and five corruption charges. The rights abuse charges include sanctioning the death-squad killings of 25 people.
    Chilean police officers formally transferred control over Fujimori to their Peruvian counterparts inside a vehicle at the airport tarmac. Fujimori was examined by a Peruvian doctor before boarding the aircraft, officials said.
    Fujimori, who calls the charges politically motivated, said in comments to local media on the eve of his departure that while his government made mistakes, his conscience was clear.
    ‘‘This does not mean that I’ve been tried, much less convicted ... I hope that in Peru there exists the due process to clarify the accusations against me,’’ he told the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio.
    He said that while the Supreme Court authorized his extradition, it significantly reduced the number of charges for which he can be tried in Peru. According to the extradition treaty between Chile and Peru, he can only be tried for the charges for which the extradition was approved.
    That, Fujimori told TV Channel 13, gave him ‘‘a legal armor’’ to face trial in Peru.
    And he suggested politics is still in his future.
    ‘‘I still have majority support ... Fujimorismo is alive and now it must have more adrenaline,’’ he said.
    Fujimori was highly popular in the early years of his administration, largely crushing a violent guerrilla movement, overseeing a flourishing economy and building schools and health clinics in rural areas that benefited the poor. But an increasing drift toward authoritarianism and evidence of corruption turned many Peruvians against him.
    After his 10-year government collapsed amid a corruption scandal in 2000, Fujimori spent five years in exile in Japan, the homeland of his parents, where he was protected from extradition by his double nationality.
    He stunned followers and foes alike when he landed in a small plane in Chile in November 2005 and revealed his ambition to run for president in the 2006 elections, even though Peru’s Congress had banned him from running for public office until 2011.
    He retains a large following in Peru where his daughter Keiko was elected to Congress with 600,000 votes — by far the most of any legislator. Fujimori suggested Keiko was a likely political heir.
    ‘‘I assure you that there will be a political heir if I am not longer around,’’ he said. ‘‘There will Fujimorismo for a long time. I guarantee that there will be some Fujimori in the next presidential race.’’
    The human rights cases against Fujimori accepted by the Chilean court include the 1993 death-squad slayings of nine students and a professor at La Cantuta University, and the 1991 killings of 15 people at Barrios Altos, a working-class neighborhood of Lima. The corruption charges involve alleged payoffs to lawmakers and to news media, illegal phone tapping and misuse of $15 million in government funds.
    Peruvian prosecutors are seeking 30 years in prison for Fujimori for each human rights charge and the corruption charges carry 10-year sentences. But prison terms run concurrently under Peruvian law.

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