Peru: Alejandro Toledo, a former president, shows up to face corruption charges
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, MAMOS Nigeria
The previous Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo showed up in Lima on Sunday after his removal from the US, the most recent in a line of ex-pioneers to have to deal with debasement penalties in the country.
From a commercial flight at Lima’s international airport, images showed Toledo, 77, being escorted down the stairs by Peruvian police and US Marshals in a green jacket and red jumper.
After his last appeal was denied, Toledo, Peru’s president from 2001 to 2006, turned himself in at a courthouse in San Jose, California, for extradition.
In Peru, anger and disappointment over the demise of yet another former president have prompted the extradition. Toledo is accused of taking bribes worth millions of dollars from Odebrecht, the enormous Brazilian construction company at the center of the biggest corruption scandal in Latin America.
He is one of four former presidents of Peru who have fallen victim to the graft network. The alleged money laundering of former president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is also the subject of an investigation. In 2018, he was forced to resign due to allegations of corruption. Alan Garcia, who followed Toledo as president somewhere in the range of 2006 and 2011, committed suicide when police came to capture him at his home in 2019.
In order to win a public works contract to construct a highway linking Peru and Brazil, Toledo is accused of receiving approximately $35 million in bribes from Odebrecht. The Brazilian firm has conceded to paying $800m to authorities all through the district in return for rewarding public works contracts.
In 2018, Peru made a formal request for Toledo to be extradited, and he was taken into custody in the United States the following year before being granted bail in 2020. He insists that he will not be given a fair trial in Peru and denies the allegations of money laundering and collusion. A 20-year prison sentence has been requested by the prosecution.
David Bowker, his attorney in the United States, stated that the former president was “profoundly saddened and disappointed” by the decision to reject his attempt to prevent the extradition and referred to the investigation as a “political prosecution.”