Peru: Judge orders 24-month preventive detention of former Lima Mayor Castañeda

13:08 | Lima, Feb. 14.

The Judiciary on Friday ordered the preventive detention for 24 months of former Mayor of Lima Luis Castañeda Lossio —within the framework of the investigations on him for having allegedly received bribes from Brazilian company OAS for his campaign.

Meanwhile, a magistrate ordered the appearance with restrictions measure for the other citizens under investigation: former Congressman Jose Luna Galvez and Giselle Zegarra.

Castañeda Lossio —present in the courtroom— was arrested by Peruvian National Police members once the verdict had been fully read.

The decision was made by Judge Maria Alvarez Camacho, head of the First National Preparatory Investigation Court Specialized in Corruption Offenses Committed by Officials.

According to the magistrate, the preventive detention was an appropriate, necessary, and proportionate measure. However, the court considered that the 36-month period requested by the Prosecutor's Office was not adequate on this occasion.

"It is a complex investigation that is intertwined with two international organizations such as OAS and Odebrecht," she expressed adding that her office considers reasonable 24 months in order to achieve the purposes of the investigation.

The judge argued that Castañeda Lossio —instead of representing the interests of the Municipality of Lima as mayor— placed "in key positions" the people linked to his entourage such as Giselle Zegarra, who had provided services to the OAS company before joining the town hall.

In this sense, the magistrate said it has been proven —with objective data provided by the Prosecutor's Office— that there was an illicit association scheme leading to influence peddling.

Also, the judge determined that the former mayor posed the danger of "clear and notorious" obstruction of justice given that one of the protected witnesses' statement claimed that Castañeda Lossio had asked him not to betray José Luna or Giselle Zegarra.

However, she considered that the former mayor did not pose a high risk of flight because —in her opinion— he has family ties, even though he does not live with his grown-up children, and that he also has work ties in the country.

Luis Castañeda Lossio served as Mayor of Lima Metropolitan Area in the following periods of time: 2003-2010 and 2015-2018.


Published: 2/14/2020
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