Arrest warrant for Peru ex-president Toledo over bribery claims
Peru has offered a reward of £24,000 for the capture of its former president, Alejandro Toledo.
A judge on Thursday ruled that Toledo, who denies any wrongdoing, must be jailed for up to 18 months while influence peddling and money laundering charges are prepared against him.
Odebrecht previous year admitted to paying some $800 million in bribes to politicians throughout Latin America including $29 million during the 2001-2006 governments of Toledo and his two successors.
Peru's former President Alejandro Toledo may have fled to San Francisco from Paris after a judge ordered his arrest for allegedly taking bribes from Odebrecht SA, Peru's Justice Ministry said Friday.
According to Richard Concepcion, judge of the National Penal Court, there is "a high level of probability that former president Toledo carried out illegal agreements with executives of (Brazilian construction company) Odebrecht".
Peru issued an worldwide arrest warrant for Toledo after a court Thursday said he should be detained as a precautionary measure before standing trial.
Investigators searched Mr Toledo's home for five hours on Saturday. He was reported to be in Paris last weekend, although he resides in the U.S., where he works as a researcher at Stanford University, California.
The alleged payments were believed to have been made through Toledo's friend, Peruvian-Israeli businessman Josef Maiman, who prosecutors say they are also investigating along with the Odebrecht's former boss in the country, whose testimony triggered the probe.
Toledo's wife, Eliane Karp, said that her husband would "gladly" return to the country "if there were guarantees of an impartial and non-politicized justice".
Toledo's lawyer, Heriberto Benitez, denied that Toledo was on the run and told Reuters he was waiting for the results of an appeal.
That time spans the presidencies of Mr Toledo and his two successors in office, Alan Garcia and Ollanta Humala.
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