Friday, 24 May 2024

Peru opposition leader jailed until trial

A judge in Peru has ordered that opposition leader Keiko Fujimori spend three years in jail while she awaits trial for corruption.

Judge Richard Concepción said there was a high risk of Ms Fujimori fleeing Peru.

Ms Fujimori has been accused of taking $1.2m (£940,000) in bribes from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht in 2011.

She denies any wrongdoing and says the accusations are politically motivated.

Judge Concepción said there was a “serious suspicion” that Ms Fujimori was managing a “de facto criminal organisation that is entrenched within” her Popular Force political party.

Earlier this year, former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned in a scandal linked to the Odebrecht case.

Ms Fujimori, who was in court, was taken into custody by police after the judge’s ruling.

Her lawyer is expected to appeal against the verdict, AFP reported.

The 43-year-old had already spent a week in police custody earlier this month but had been released on appeal.

She lost presidential election runoffs in 2016 and 2011. Her Popular Force party, however, wields considerable power and currently has a majority in Congress.

In the last year there have been huge street protests against the political establishment.

Ms Fujimori’s father, 80-year-old former President Alberto Fujimori, is serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights abuses.

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