by Luis Jaime CISNEROS / Roberto CORTIJO
Former Peruvian president Ollanta Humala and his wife Nadine Heredia have spent their first night time in jail over charges of accepting unlawful campaign donations from Brazilian construction large Odebrecht.
The couple surrendered to Judge Richard Concepcion Carhuanco late Thursday, after following their televised 21-hour marathon sentencing listening to from house.
The decide ordered 18 months of pre-trial detention for the couple “for the crime of money laundering against the interest of the state.”
Humala, president from 2011-2016, mentioned the ruling “is a confirmation of abuse of power,” vowing on Twitter to face it head-on “in defense of our rights.”
Defense attorneys mentioned the couple would enchantment their preventive detention on Monday and hoped for a response inside 10 days.
The couple, whose three minor youngsters have been despatched to stay with a grandmother, spent Thursday night time in holding cells within the Justice Ministry, then have been transferred Friday to their respective prisons.
Humala’s lawyer, Wilfredo Pedraza, mentioned the couple have been doing properly up to now.
“They are in good spirits, strengthened by the decision to submit to the judge’s authority,” he mentioned.
Humala will likely be in the identical jail as former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori. In 2000, when Humala was a military officer, he tried a coup towards the Fujimori authorities; he was later pardoned.
Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in 2007 for corruption and crimes towards humanity.
Four of Peru’s final 5 presidents have confronted corruption scandals.
Kuczynski mentioned the nation had earned an excellent fame for its combat towards corruption, having taken “drastic measures, with a great economic cost without doubt, but which are having effect.”
The Odebrecht group got here below scrutiny through the probe of an enormous pay-to-play scheme at Brazil’s state oil firm Petrobras that has tarnished the names of Brazil’s prime politicians and enterprise executives.
The fallout unfold throughout Latin America when Odebrecht executives admitted in plea bargains secret firm bribery division systematically paid multi-million-dollar bribes to win public works contracts in 12 international locations within the area.
The Brazilian construction large admitted to paying $29 million in bribes in Peru to win authorities constructing contracts between 2005 and 2014 — a time interval that additionally contains the presidencies of Alejandro Toledo and Alan Garcia.
Toledo — president from 2001-2006 — is at the moment within the United States in defiance of an 18-month pre-trial detention order for allegedly receiving $20 million in Odebrecht bribes.
One of the principle prosecution claims is that Humala and Heredia accepted $three million from Odebrecht for the 2011 presidential campaign.
Humala denies the charge, although he says that Peruvian legislation doesn’t forbid international campaign contributions.
The prosecution additionally claims that Humala accepted contributions from Venezuela throughout his failed 2006 presidential bid.
© Agence France-Presse