Peru’s ex-President Alejandro Toledo cleared for extradition from US

Former President of Peru Alejandro Toledo
Alejandro Toledo, 75, has been living in the US state of California

Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, arrested in the US two years ago on corruption charges, has been cleared for extradition back to Peru.

A US judge approved the move on Tuesday, saying sufficient evidence had been presented in a case against the former president to suggest wrongdoing.

Mr Toledo is accused of taking $20m (£15m) in bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, while in office between 2001 and 2006.

He has denied all charges against him.

The 75-year-old, who has been living in the US state of California and has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, has previously said the allegations are politically motivated.

Peruvian authorities allege that Mr Toledo received millions of dollars in return for awarding public works contracts. They provided the US with an extradition request in May 2018.

Odebrecht earlier admitted, as part of a plea deal with the US justice department, to paying nearly $800m in bribes to governments across Latin America.

Issuing his decision to allow the extradition of the former president, Judge Thomas Hixson of the US District Court in the Northern District of California said there was enough evidence to “establish probable cause to believe that Toledo committed collusion and money laundering”.

He said that this included testimony from Odebrecht’s former executive director in Peru, Jorge Barata, and Mr Toledo’s own admission during the extradition proceeding that he had received approximately $500,000 in Odebrecht bribe money.

Judge Hixson said, however, that the case against Mr Toledo was “not airtight”, and that some witnesses had contradicted themselves while giving evidence, which would raise issues with a trial in Peru.

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