Judge orders Peru opposition leader Fujimori released from jail

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Judge orders Peru opposition leader Fujimori released from jail

Peru’s main opposition leader Keiko Fujimori was freed on Wednesday night after an appeals judge ordered her release. This comes just a week after she was arrested in an ongoing corruption investigation.

CGTN’s Dan Collyns reports.

Fujimori wept as an appeals judge ordered her set free.  There were cheers and jeers as she left the courtroom, for now, a free woman.

“I leave here, grateful, despite the injustice, grateful for so many expressions of solidarity,” Fujimori said outside the court.

“This, too, has made me think that this should not happen to other people,” she added.

But Peru’s most powerful opposition leader remains under investigation for undeclared financial contributions of more than a million dollars.

Prosecutors allege the scandal-plagued Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht made the donations to her 2011 presidential campaign.

Fujimori arrest came a week after Peru’s top court revoked her 80-year-old father Alberto’s presidential pardon. The former leader, who governed Peru from 1990 to 2000, was jailed for human rights crimes in 2009.

But this may only be the start of Keiko Fujimori’s problems.

Multiple accusations of graft and influence-trafficking have pushed Fujimori and her all-powerful party out of public favor, while the corruption-fighting President Martín Vizcarra has seen his popularity surge.

A series of scandals has enraged Peruvians who, on Wednesday, marched in support of the prosecutor who jailed Fujimori and against corrupt politicians and judges.

Last week, the former head of the Supreme Court – at the center of a graft scandal – fled to Spain despite a ban on leaving the country.

Meanwhile, President Vizcarra has vowed to root out corruption which polls show have boosted his public approval.

“A corruption crisis over recent months has allowed Vizcarra to make anti-corruption his principal issue,” Augusto Álvarez Rodrich, a political commentator, told CGTN.

“This has generated enthusiasm in public opinion, the public sector, even the business community and the church, he said.

“So after a weak start, he’s created a government which is, for the moment, strong.”

As anti-corruption prosecutors also investigate four former presidents, Vizcarra’s strength, say analysts, will depend on how effectively he can combat the rot.