LIMA (Reuters) – A Peruvian judge on Friday ordered former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to spend up to three years in jail while prosecutors prepare corruption charges against him for allegedly taking bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.
The decision comes just two days after another former Peruvian president, Alan Garcia, committed suicide to avoid arrest in connection with Odebrecht, a Brazilian firm that has laid waste to Peru’s established political class as it has implicated officials and political leaders in alleged bribery schemes.
Kuczynski - Wall - Street - Banker - US
Kuczynski, an 80-year-old former Wall Street banker who once held U.S. citizenship, denies wrongdoing. Kuczynski did not attend the hearing before Judge Jorge Chavez on Friday because he was receiving treatment for heart problems in a local clinic.
After Garcia killed himself on Wednesday, Kuczynski’s attorney asked prosecutor Jose Domingo Perez to consider putting Kuczynski under house arrest instead of pre-trial detention as planned. But Perez said Kuczynski’s health problems could be treated without problem in jail, and Judge Chavez approved his request to hold Kuczynski in jail for 36 months before trial.
Ruling - Garcia - Criticism - Odebrecht - Probe
The ruling came as Garcia was being buried and will likely further fuel criticism that the Odebrecht probe has become too aggressive and that prosecutors and judges were abusing the use of so-called “preventive prison,” or pre-trial detention.
Under Peruvian law, criminal suspects can be held in jail before trial for up to three years if prosecutors show evidence that they would likely be convicted and...
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