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Peru's ex-president to stay in prison

April 20, 2019

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of taking bribes from a Brazilian construction company. Another ex-president killed himself two days ago to avoid arrest in the scandal.

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/M. Mejia

A judge in Peru ruled Friday that former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski remain in pre-trial custody for up to three years, as prosecutors prepare charges against him for allegedly accepting bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Prosecutors had requested a 36-month preventive jail term after police arrested Kuczynski, who served from 2016 to 2018, earlier this month. The 80-year-old was unable to attend Friday's ruling because he was receiving treatment for high blood pressure.

The decision came two days after former president Alan Garcia killed himself to avoid arrest on suspicion of taking bribes from Odebrecht in return for granting them government contracts.

In 2016, the company admitted to paying nearly $800 million (€708 million) in bribes to officials in several Latin American countries in exchange for building contracts.

Read more: Brazil prosecutors and Odebrecht execs to sign world's biggest plea and leniency deal

As president, Kuczynski admitted that one of his firms had advised the construction giant on financing for projects that had been awarded while he was minister in a previous government.

Police have also ordered two other Peruvian ex-presidents, Alejandro Toledo and Ollanta Humala, to pre-trial detention fortheir suspected involvement in the Odebrecht scandal.

amp/kl (dpa, Reuters)

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