US judge clears way for ex-President Alejandro Toledo’s extradition to Peru
A US judge on Tuesday gave the green light for the extradition of former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo to his country, where he is on trial for alleged corruption, we learned.
Toledo, who ruled Peru between 2001 and 2006, could be extradited to stand trial for his alleged involvement in the local version of the Lava Jato scandal, which involves the payment of bribes by a Brazilian construction company to obtain public works contracts.
?? The court has heard and considered the evidence of the crime and finds that it is sufficient to support the charges of collusion and money laundering, ?? California judge Thomas Hixon wrote in his 30-page decision.
The final decision to hand Toledo to Peruvian authorities is now in the hands of Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
According to the coordinating prosecutor of the Lava Jato special team in Peru, Rafael Vela, Blinken is unlikely to have a different view of extradition, although he does not rule out that Toledo’s defense has resorted to other legal mechanisms to adjudicate delay or stop his surrender. to your country.
Toledo has lived in the United States since 2017. He was charged with money laundering after allegedly receiving around $ 35 million from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in exchange for public works contracts.
In July 2019, Toledo was arrested by US authorities following an extradition request from Peru. He spent eight months in prison for risk of absconding, then was placed under house arrest.
The president of the first national preparatory court, Richard Concepción Carhuancho, announced that the proceedings would begin on October 21 and that Toledo would appear virtually at the hearings.
Meanwhile, the Toledo defense team said it would file a habeas corpus application, the only legal action available after Judge Hixson’s ruling, while the former president explained he would do “everything. , inside and outside the country ”. recover the name of his wife, his own and that of his family.
Toledo, 75, also claimed there were irregularities in his conditions of detention and his right to defense.
?? The next action in my defense here in the United States is that we are going to present a ‘habeas corpus, which will go to a federal judge in California, and then there are two more instances, ?? said the former Peruvian president.
You only have to read the sentence to realize that there are inconsistencies. This decision was not rendered by the judge on the day of today’s hearing; this is a decision he was already working on, ??? said Toledo’s lawyer Roberto Su.
Toledo’s lawyer insisted on what has been the former president’s main line of defense throughout the trial: the apparent contradictions and inconsistencies of the two main witnesses in the investigation conducted by the Peruvian prosecution, the man Israeli businessman Josef Maiman and former Odebrecht employee Jorge Barata.
Toledo was arrested in 2019 in California, where he resides with his Belgian wife Eliane Karp. In March of the same year, Josef Maiman, who was his personal friend, signed an effective collaboration agreement with the prosecution and confirmed that Odebrecht had deposited not 20, but 35 million into his accounts as bribes. -vin for the former president.
Toledo is one of four former presidents of Peru involved in the Odebrecht corruption scandal. Alan García (1985-1990, 2006-2011) committed suicide in 2019, at the age of 69, when he was going to be detained by the police in Lima, regarding this case. Ollanta Humala (2011-2016) and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018) are also under judicial investigation.