U.S. is Not Planning to Detain Peru’s Former President, Wanted for Corruption
Feb 14, 2017 08:35 AM EST
U.S. authorities has informed Peru that they are not planning to detain former Peru President Alejandro Toledo in the United States, who is wanted in connection with a corruption probe. Toledo will fly to Israel from California in the coming hours, a source in Peru's Interior Ministry said on Saturday.
The source, who is not authorized to comment, spoke anonymously, saying that the reason the U.S. did not want to detain Toledo remains unclear. The U.S. Justice and State Departments was hesitant in giving further comments.
Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski pressurized the Justice and State Departments to change its mind pertaining Toledo, CNBC reported. The dispute threatens to strain national relations between the U.S. and one of its traditional allies in South America.
A judge in Peru ordered an international arrest warrant for 70-year-old Toledo on Thursday over his bribery allegations. The government offered a $30,000 reward for any information leading to his capture after he failed to surrender himself to the authorities.
According to DW, the international manhunt was launched over accusations that he took $20 million (18.8 million euros) in bribes. Toledo allegedly accepted the cash from Brazil's family-run conglomerate Odebrecht to help the company win a contract to build a highway from Brazil to Peru's Pacific Coastline.
In a plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department last year, Odebrecht admitted to paying $800 million bribes to politicians throughout Latin America. This includes $29 million during the 2001-2006 governments of Toledo and his two successors.
Peru has said Interpol issued a red alert to 190 member countries to help find him, but Toledo does not appear on its list of wanted persons. Interpol has not responded to requests for comment on him.
Toledo, who has earned economics degrees from the Stanford University, has denied any of such wrongdoings and has not been charged or convicted of any crimes. Meanwhile, his lawyer said he did not know Toledo's whereabouts and declined further comment.