In this file photo dated May 24, 2017, former president of Peru, Alejandro Toledo (left) attends the New Economy Forum Globalization Dialogues in New York. (PHOTO / AP)
LIMA – Peru's attorney general's office said on Tuesday on Twitter that the US State Department had agreed to extradite former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo on corruption charges.
Toledo, 76, was arrested in the United States in 2019 after Peru formally requested his extradition.
Peruvian authorities allege that Toledo, who governed the Andean country between 2001 and 2006, took bribes of more than $25 million from Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht in exchange for help securing public works contracts.
"We do not have a set deadline (for the extradition) at the moment, but it is unlikely to take months," Alfredo Rebaza, the head of the attorney general's extradition office, said on the Canal N television station, adding that logistics would now be begin with Interpol and US authorities.
A US judge cleared the way for Toledo's extradition in 2021, saying evidence of criminality presented in his case was "sufficient to sustain the charges of collusion and money laundering," but final say fell to the State Department
Toledo, who as of August 2022 resided in California, following his release from prison on bail in 2020, has denied soliciting or receiving bribes and has not been criminally charged in the United States.
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The former president or his defense in the South American country could not be immediately reached for comment on the situation.
Last August, the US Department of Justice said it would return to Peru about $686,000 seized from Toledo. Federal prosecutors in the New York City borough of Brooklyn said Odebrecht had paid Toledo $25 million in bribes for highway construction contracts.
A US judge cleared the way for Toledo's extradition in 2021, saying evidence of criminality presented in his case was "sufficient to sustain the charges of collusion and money laundering," but final say fell to the State Department.
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A Peruvian prosecutor has requested 20 years and 6 months in prison for Toledo for a case linked to the construction of two sections of a highway connecting southern Peru with Brazil.
Peru has faced a wave of corruption scandals related to the Odebrecht case in recent years.
Former president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is also under investigation for alleged money laundering. Another former president, Alan Garcia, committed suicide to avoid arrest in 2019.