Fujimori leaves hospital after saying return to prison will kill him

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Handout image from the Fujimori family as ex president tries to avoid prison

Peru's ailing former president Alberto Fujimori was on Wednesday evening transferred from a Lima hospital to resume a lengthy sentence for crimes against humanity, AFP journalists saw -- hours after he said returning to prison would spell certain death.

The 80-year-old, who has had his immunity revoked, was returned to prison under heavy guard to serve the remaining 13 of his 25-year sentence. He was accompanied by his youngest son, Kenji Fujimori.

"I feel that the end is near," he had earlier said in a handwritten statement to AFP from hospital, before being transferred to a cell specially outfitted for him at a police special forces base.

The only inmate, he has constant care for his medical issues and has already lived there a decade.

But in his note, he wrote that should he experience cardiac issues in prison, "the situation will be much more serious and unstable" than in hospital.

"That is why returning to prison is a slow and sure death sentence," he said.

Fujimori is the son of Japanese immigrants, a US-and French-trained mathematician and agronomist. When he was elected many Peruvians reveled in the fact they were choosing someone from outside Peru's traditional elite.

But his 1990-2000 tenure saw him become increasingly authoritarian himself; he was accused of corruption and convicted of ordering politically motivated killings. He resigned from office by fax after fleeing to Tokyo.

Last week, a medical check in Lima cleared him for a return to his cell from hospital, where he had been since suffering a heart attack in October.

"They can kill me, but never my achievements," Fujimori argued, mentioning the defeat of Shining Path rebels and his ending of hyperinflation in Peru.