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Peru's Fujimori Asks for Forgiveness

FILE - Former President Alberto Fujimori, photographed through a glass window, attending his trial at a police base on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, June 28, 2016.

Peru's ailing former president, Alberto Fujimori, Tuesday asked the public for forgiveness, two days after receiving a controversial pardon from current President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

In a Facebook video filmed from his hospital bed, Fujimori said, "I am aware that the results of my government were well received on one side, but I admit that I have let down other compatriots, and I ask them to forgive me with all my heart."

On Sunday, Kuczynski granted a medical pardon to the former authoritarian leader, who had been serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights violations, corruption and the sanctioning of death squads during his 1990-2000 presidential term.

Fujimori thanked Kuczynski for the pardon and said that as a free man, he would support the president's calls for reconciliation in the Andean country.

Fujimori, 79, was taken to the hospital late Saturday after suffering a severe drop in blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat. His doctor, Alejandro Aguinaga, denies allegations it was a ruse to legitimize the pardon.

Kuczynski’s decision to pardon his predecessor, which he said was for humanitarian reasons, triggered a Christmas Eve protest in downtown Lima, where police fired tear gas at scores of Fujimori opponents as they waved pictures of the victims of a counterinsurgency campaign during his right-wing government.

Fujimori is admired by some Peruvians for combating Maoist rebels, whereas his critics consider him a corrupt dictator.