Federal judge orders the arrest of former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo

The president has until Friday, April 21 to surrender himself in a San Jose (California) court.

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the arrest of former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo so that he can be extradited to Peru, where he is accused of corruption in the Odebrecht case.

California Judge Thomas Hixson ordered the former Peruvian president to turn himself in to the marshals on Friday, April 21 at 9:00 a.m. local time on the West Coast. At that time, the former president of the Andean country between 2001 and 2006 must go to the Robert F. Peckham building, seat of the Northern District Court of California, in the city of San Jose (California).

This court orders Toledo to be held in a prison, where he will remain until his surrender to Peruvian authorities has been completed.

The former president could be handed over to Peruvian authorities this Friday. The Peruvian Minister of Justice, José Tello, expressed his government's intention to speed up the process as much as possible:

It could be on Friday, he will turn himself in and is already available, but it is a matter that will be coordinated, but in the event that he stops using delaying mechanisms and turns himself in so that the U.S. government can complete the extradition.

Alejandro Toledo, a resident of San Francisco, should have been arrested for extradition on April 7, but has been delaying the process through various legal appeals.

Finally, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the president's request for a new hearing to reconsider his surrender to Peru, so the prosecution asked the judge to reactivate the arrest warrant.

Alejandro Toledo's corruption scheme

Alejandro Toledo, 77, was arrested in 2019 in California and spent eight months in prison as a flight risk, but was placed under house arrest in March 2020. Last year, the U.S. judiciary gave the green light to his extradition to Peru, having found sufficient evidence to justify this measure, which was endorsed last February by the State Department.

Toledo is accused of having received some 34 million dollars from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, through a network of companies in tax havens through which he acquired millionaire real estate properties in Peru. Specifically, Toledo was investigated for allegedly committing the crimes of money laundering, collusion and influence peddling, in relation to contracts granted to Odebrecht for the construction of the Interoceanic Highway between Brazil and Peru.

The Odebrecht case, one of the biggest corruption scandals in Latin America, also involved former Peruvian presidents Alan García (1985-1990 and 2006-2011), Ollanta Humala (2011-2016) and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018), as well as three-time presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, daughter and political heir of former president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000).

Following his arrest and extradition, the Peruvian Public Prosecutor's Office will most likely request that Alejandro Toledo be sent to preventive detention while he is being tried and that he serve his sentence in the prison built in a police base in Lima, where former governors Alberto Fujimori and Pedro Castillo are also being held.