Reuters International

Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori sits in court during the sentencing in his trial on charges of embezzling state funds to manipulate the media during his tenure as president, in Lima January 8, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil

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LIMA (Reuters) - Peru's imprisoned former authoritarian leader Alberto Fujimori has filed a new request for a presidential pardon, the prime minister said on Saturday, five days before President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski takes office.

It is unclear if the pardon would be decided by outgoing President Ollanta Humala, who rebuffed Fujimori's first pardon appeal in 2013, or by Kuczynski, who must govern alongside a Congress controlled by the populist party Fujimori founded.

Prime Minister Pedro Cateriano said Fujimori sent the pardon request to the justice ministry. "It will be processed according to the constitution and the law," he said on Twitter.

Fujimori, who suffers from hypertension and turns 78 next week, was jailed in 2007 and is serving a 25-year sentence for corruption and human rights abuses during his 1990-2000 government.

Hundreds of Peruvians who view Fujimori as a misunderstood hero marched in Lima on Friday to demand he be freed from prison.

Kuczynski, who narrowly defeated Fujimori's daughter, Keiko Fujimori, in a run-off election last month, opposes giving Fujimori a pardon that would clear him of guilt.

However, Kuczynski has said he would back a law that allows ageing prisoners like Fujimori to carry out the remainder of their sentences under house arrest.

Fujimori's lawyer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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