US Judge Paves Way for Extradition of Peru’s Ex-President

A judge in the United States on Tuesday (29/9), said the evidence gathered in a criminal case involving Peru’s former president Alejandro Toledo “is sufficient” so that the ex-president’s extradition process to return to his country can be carried out immediately.

Toledo himself was previously suspected of being involved in a corruption case. The final decision on Toledo’s extradition will rest with the US State Department.

Previously, Peruvian authorities suspected Toledo was involved in bribe negotiations with Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht SA while he was president between 2001 and 2006.

Toledo denies corruption charges against him. He lived in California near the Stanford University campus where he studied and later worked. He is currently under house arrest, although he spent several months in prison in the early stages of his extradition case.

The testimony given by Jorge Barata, the former head of the company Odebrecht in Peru, and Josef Maiman, a Toledo relative who said he helped the former president accept bribes was key to the decision by Judge Thomas Hixson in San Francisco in the case.

“The testimonies of Barata and Maiman, combined with Toledo’s confession at this extradition hearing stating that he received a bribe of approximately $500,000 from Odebrecht provide sufficient grounds to believe that Toledo had committed collusion and money laundering,” Judge Hixson wrote in his ruling. (jm/my)

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