Peru’s ex-President Toledo surrenders to face extradition from US

Alejandro Toledo is set to be extradited to Peru to face bribery-related charges in a corruption investigation.

Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo has denied the charges and had sought a stay on his extradition [File: Mary Altaffer/AP Photo]

Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo has turned himself in to United States officials and is expected to be extradited to his home country to face charges of accepting millions of dollars in bribes from a Brazilian company.

The surrender on Friday represents the end of a years-long legal battle, which began when Toledo was arrested in July 2019 at his Menlo Parlo, California home after prosecutors in Peru requested his extradition as part of the corruption scandal.

He is accused of taking at least $20m in bribes from Odebrecht, a giant Brazilian construction company that has admitted to US authorities that it bribed officials to win contracts throughout Latin America for decades.

The president of Peru from 2001 to 2006, Toledo has denied the charges and sought a stay on his extradition. However, a US court of appeals denied his latest motion this week and a federal judge ordered him to surrender.

Toledo had been released on house arrest following his initial arrest in the US.

Federal prosecutors said Peruvian officials will travel to Northern California to pick up Toledo and fly him back to Peru.

Silvana Carrion, the local prosecutor handling the case, told local television outlet Canal N that Toledo will be moved to Peru’s capital, Lima, in two to three days.

Peruvian prosecutors are seeking a 20-year prison sentence against the former president.

Toledo, 77, is one of four ex-presidents linked to the Odebrecht corruption scandal, meaning that nearly every living former president of the country of more than 33 million people is now on trial or under investigation.

Former President Ollanta Humala is currently standing trial on charges that he and his wife received more than $3m from Odebrecht for his presidential campaigns in 2006 and 2011. Both have denied any wrongdoing.

Ex-leader Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who left office in 2018, is under house arrest for similar charges.

Former President Alan Garcia, in office from 2006 to 2011, fatally shot himself in the head in 2019 as police arrived at his home to arrest him.

Source: News Agencies