Ex-Peruvian President Toledo to remain detained in U.S. during extradition process

Photo: EFE

Photo: EFE

14:00 | San Francisco (U.S.), Jul. 19.

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 no 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.


Published: 7/19/2019
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