U.S. judge clears way for extradition of former Peru president
A U.S. judge on Tuesday cleared the way for former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo to be extradited back to Peru, per Reuters.
The big picture: Peruvian authorities accuse Toledo of negotiating bribes with Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht SA while serving as president from 2001 to 2006, Reuters notes. Toledo denies any wrongdoing.
- The former president has said that Israeli businessman Josef Maiman was working for Odebrecht SA but misrepresented himself to Toledo, Bloomberg reports.
Details: U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Hixson decided there was probable cause due to the testimony of businessman Josef Maiman and former Odebrecht head in Peru Jorge Barata.
- "Barata and Maiman's testimony, combined with Toledo's admissions in this extradition proceeding that he ultimately received approximately $500,000 in Odebrecht bribe money ... establish probable cause to believe that Toledo committed collusion and money laundering," the judge wrote, according to Reuters.
Of note: Five of Peru's former presidents have been charged with crimes previously after being accused of corruption.
What's next: The State Department will have the final say on whether or not he is extradited.