Peru asks world to help find fugitive ex-president Toledo

Posted February 12, 2017

The office of Peru's cabinet chief said it has asked the USA authorities to detain Toledo and expel him after receiving a tip off on his whereabouts, the office of the cabinet chief said in a statement.

Observers said the warrant marked the nadir of a precipitous fall from grace for Toledo, a one-time pro-democracy activist who headed street protests against the authoritarian former president Alberto Fujimori and pledged to clamp down on rampant corruption when he took office from 2001 to 2006.

In recent media interviews he has denied any wrongdoing.

The money was allegedly paid by Odebrecht to win contracts to build stages II and III of the Interoceanic highway between Peru and Brazil. Toledo is a visiting scholar at Stanford University in California.

The judge ordered the preliminary imprisonment of Toledo for 18 months while the investigation continues.

Investigators searched Mr Toledo's home for five hours on Saturday.

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The Peruvian government has offered a almost $30,000 bounty to whomever captures and returns Toledo to Peru, or provides information leading to his capture, El Mundo reported.

According to Richard Concepcion, judge of the National Penal Court, there is "a high level of probability that former president Toledo carried out illegal agreements with executives of (Brazilian construction company) Odebrecht".

Justice Minister Marisol Perez Tello said Toledo would be guaranteed a fair trial.

Prosecutors allege the payments to Toledo were made through his friend Josef Maiman, a Peruvian-Israeli businessman who was also being investigated along with Odebrecht's former boss in the country, Jorge Barata, whose testimony implicates the former president.

According to Castro's petition, illegal donations or bribes worth 20 million US dollars were donated by Odebrecht to Toledo.

Toledo's lawyer Heriberto Benitez did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.