LIMA, Peru (AFP) — Peru opposition leader Keiko Fujimori was released from prison Friday after spending 13 months in pre-trial detention in a corruption case linked to Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.
Her release comes days after the country’s Constitutional Court ordered her freed in a ruling related only to her detention and which otherwise has no bearing on the corruption case against her.
“For me, it was the most painful event of my life,” Fujimori said as she left prison and hugged her husband in front of a large group of supporters and journalists.
Fujimori, 44, has been held since October 31, 2018.
Odebrecht has admitted to paying bribes to officials, including four former Peruvian presidents.
Fujimori is accused of receiving funds from the company for her 2011 election campaign as leader of the right-wing Popular Force party.
The party was a major player in the country’s 2016 elections but has been losing ground since, in part due to Fujimori’s two successive defeats in the second round of presidential elections in 2011 and 2016.
Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra has called for new legislative elections for January 26 after dissolving the country’s single-chamber congress in September as part of an anti-corruption campaign.
Fujimori’s party risks losing its majority in congress, following repeated clashes with Vizcarra, whose anti-graft drive has proven popular with the public.
© Agence France-Presse