Peru Prosecutor satisfied with U.S. Judge's decision regarding ex-President Toledo

Photo: EFE

Photo: EFE

17:45 | San Francisco (U.S.), Jul. 19.

Peru's Lava Jato Case Special Prosecution Group Coordinator Rafael Vela on Friday expressed satisfaction concerning U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson's decision to keep ex-Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo detained during his extradition process.

On the other hand, Vela declined to talk about the judge's reasons to keep the former Head of State under arrest, in order to prevent hindering the strategy aimed at achieving the extradition.

Likewise, he affirmed the ex-President's rights have been thoroughly respected, adding Toledo has a very active defense. 

Furthermore, the prosecutor indicated the hearing requested by Toledo's defense aimed at obtaining a public defender is set for July 26. 

According to Vela, the audience will not assess the judge's verdict. It will rather assess Toledo's request, who must provide evidence of insolvency. 

Toledo to remain detained

Ex-Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006) will face his extradition process detained in a U.S. cell. The decision was made in the city of San Francisco on Friday by United States Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson.

Toledo's attorney was Joseph P. Russoniello.

According to Peruvian El Comercio newspaper, LaPunzina indicated the ex-President did not prove that he complies with the special conditions to be released on bond and underlined there is a considerable risk of flight.

On the other hand, Russoniello ruled out there might be a risk of flight and recalled Toledo has links to the U.S. community.

Furthermore, he pointed out the extradition process should not be carried out, as the ex-President's case is under investigation and there are not charges.

He went on to add Toledo's indigenous status and his stance against fujimorismo (supporters of imprisoned ex-President Alberto Fujimori) would prevent him from getting a fair process in Peru.

However, the Assistant U.S. Attorney —who represented the Peruvian State— explained the extradition process does not imply the charges are true, it only enables the accused to be judged in the South American country.

After listening to the arguments, U.S. Magistrate Judge Hixson asked if the money found in Toledo's house was intended for escaping.

Witnesses affirmed Toledo looked concerned during the audience.

His wife Eliane Karp —who was born in Europe and became First Lady of Peru (2001-2006)— was also present at the bail hearing.

The hearing took place at the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco.

According to the Peruvian Prosecutor's Office, Toledo received more than US$20 million in bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht to favor it during his presidency (2001-2006) with the concession of the South Interoceanic Highway. With this money, the former president paid mortgages and properties in Peru.

Toledo detained in the U.S.

As is known, former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States by an extradition order against him, within the framework of the investigations over alleged corruption offenses in the awarding of the South Interoceanic Highway Project to Brazilian company Odebrecht.

The Peruvian Public Ministry's International Judicial Cooperation and Extraditions Unit (UCJIE) Head Senior Prosecutor Celia Goicochea indicated the detention took place on July 16 at 6:30 AM (local time) in the State of California.

After U.S. authorities' questions were addressed, the Department of Justice notified the Public Ministry's UCJIE on July 2 that the arrest order was being prepared in order to extradite the ex-President.

"It is a favorable result, as the judicial phase will start," she said.

Finally, the Peruvian prosecutor thanked her counterpart in the United States, for the valuable cooperation in the monitoring of the extradition file and the permanent communication with the national authority.

Click here to read the facts of the extradition request against Toledo.


Publicado: 19/7/2019