Peru Prosecutor: Removing judge was a strategy of Keiko Fujimori's defense

14:24 | Lima, Jan. 16.

Lava Jato Case Special Prosecution Group Coordinator Rafael Vela on Wednesday affirmed the removal of Judge Richard Concepcion Carhuancho had always been part of Fuerza Popular party leader Keiko Fujimori's defense strategy.

"This dates back some time when, in the cocktails case, they sought to take a stance through (ex) Supreme Judge Hinostroza," Vela expressed. 

As is known, Cesar Hinostroza fled Peru last October —despite an existing travel ban— but was later detained and taken to prison in Spain.

Likewise, he indicated the documents found in the home of Vicente Silva Checa —Fujimori's advisor— showed their intention had always been to remove the natural judge since this person caused discomfort to the defense's interests. 

"What we defend is the principle of the natural judge," Vela added. 

The prosecutor ruled out seeking a biased person for the case they investigate. He also recalled the Judicial Branch is the institution that determines the competence of judges, not the Public Ministry. 

No public hearing

On the other hand, the prosecutor pointed out the debate on the recusal against Judge Concepcion Carhuancho should have been resolved at a public hearing. 

"We have not been notified of the written recusal," Vela said. 

Furthermore, he stated that Keiko Fujimori's defense could demand the end of the 36-month preventive detention the Fuerza Popular party leader currently serves. 

In this sense, Lava Jato Case Special Prosecution Group Coordinator Vela announced his team will file an appeal to declare invalid the measure to remove the judge. 

The judge

In Peru, Concepcion Carhuancho has become very popular as he ordered preventive detentions against former Presidents Alejandro Toledo, Ollanta Humala, and candidate Keiko Fujimori —all of them involved in the Odebrecht case.

Humala and wife Nadine Heredia served nine months in preventive detention thru April 2018.


Published: 1/16/2019
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