Peru ex-leader Toledo wins reprieve in extradition from US
Apr 7, 2023, 11:39 AM
(Oficina del Sheriff del Condado de San Mateo vía AP, Archivo)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo Manrique has been granted two more weeks to fight his extradition from the United States on corruption charges, halting extradition proceedings that had been set to start Friday.
Late Thursday, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ordered a 14-day stay on Toledo’s extradition to Peru. The stay allows the 77-year-old former leader time to ask a three-judge panel to reconsider its decision denying him a stay or petition the full court to review his appeal.
Toledo is accused of taking $20 million in bribes from Odebrecht, a giant Brazilian construction company that has admitted to U.S. authorities that it bribed officials to win contracts throughout Latin America for decades. Toledo is one of four of Peru’s ex-presidents implicated in the corruption scandal. He denies the charges.
The judge in the extradition case, Thomas Hixson, ordered Toledo to turn himself over to U.S. marshals Friday after a three-judge appeals court panel this week denied his appeal to stop his extradition. But Hixson reversed his order after Toledo’s last-ditch effort was granted.
Toledo, who was Peru’s president from 2001 to 2006, was arrested in July 2019 at his home in Menlo Park, California. He was initially held in solitary confinement at the Santa Rita Jail about 40 miles (60 kilometers) east of San Francisco but was released in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He has been under house arrest since then.
The Odebrecht corruption scandal has shaken Peru’s politics, with nearly every living former president now on trial or under investigation.
Former leader Alan García, in office from 2006 to 2011, fatally shot himself in the head in 2019 as police arrived at his home to arrest him.
Former President Ollanta Humala is standing trial on charges that he and his wife received over $3 million 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.