US justice denies bail for Peruvian ex-president Toledo

A former lady from Peru was dragged out Thursday from a San Francisco court while cursing a judge's decision to keep her husband, former president Alejandro Toledo, in prison, pending an extradition process.

Former President of Peru, Alejandro Toledo.

Former President of Peru, Alejandro Toledo. / Via REUTERS

Reuters | Alexandria Sage

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Leer en español: Justicia de EEUU niega libertad bajo fianza para expresidente peruano

Toledo, 73, is wanted in Peru to be tried for allegedly receiving a $ 20 million bribe from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht during his term between 2001 and 2006.

The ex-plaintiff, who denies the accusations, was arrested in July and requested his release on bail of $ 1 million.

The federal judge of the United States, Thomas Hixson, ruled that there was a high risk that Toledo could escape since he has connections with influential people in different countries.

"I've thought about this a lot," Hixson said in a room full of supporters from Toledo and Peruvian media. "I will keep the arrest warrant."

After the ruling was announced, Toledo's wife, the 65-year-old Belgian-American anthropologist Eliane Karp, shouted: "What bullshit is this? This is a mockery! A mockery!"

Security members dragged Karp out of the courtroom, shouting that her husband would die in prison.

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This is the latest drama in a powerful corruption scandal in Latin America that has particularly hit several Peruvian politicians. Earlier this year, another former president, Alan García, committed suicide to avoid being arrested in the Odebrecht investigation. Two other ex-plaintiffs are under investigation, one with house arrest.

Toledo has been considered a fugitive in Peru since 2017 when a Peruvian judge ordered his detention to prevent him from fleeing or obstructing the investigation. But Toledo was out of the country at that time and refused to return, arguing violations of due process and political persecution.

The former president rose in power after the abuses and corruption of the government of his predecessor Alberto Fujimori, a hard-handed right-wing populist who is now in prison in Peru for human rights violations and bribes.

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