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Peru arrests opposition leader Keiko Fujimori over corruption

October 12, 2018

October, 10 2018 (Al-Jazeera)

Police in Peru has arrested Keiko Fujimori, opposition leader and daughter of disgraced ex-president Alberto Fujimori, for alleged money laundering involving Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, according to her lawyer.

The 43-year-old was arrested on the orders of prosecutors investigating suspect contributions to her election campaign, her lawyer Giuliana Loza said.

Fujimori was detained when she arrived at the state prosecutor’s office to give evidence in the case, under Peru’s Organized Crime Law, according to an official document seen by Reuters news agency.

She was placed in preventive detention for 10 days, said Loza, who described the arrest as “an outrage and an abuse”.

Fujimori leads the powerful conservative opposition party, Popular Force, which has a majority in Congress and was key to helping topple former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in a corruption scandal in March.

At least 19 others have been arrested in the case linked to contributions to the Popular Force during Fujimori’s 2011 presidential campaign.

“She has placed herself at the disposal of the prosecutor’s office,” Loza said on Wednesday.

Since June, prosecutors have been investigating allegations that three former presidents took bribes disguised as campaign funds from Odebrecht, which is at the centre of political scandals across Latin America.

Former presidents Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Alan Garcia and Alejandro Toledo all took undeclared campaign contributions in exchange for pledges to have the Brazilian construction giant win local tenders, prosecutors said.

Fujimori’s arrest comes a week after her 80-year-old father’s presidential pardon for crimes against humanity was revoked by a top court.

Following his extradition to Peru in 2007, Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in prison for commanding death squads that massacred civilians in a counterinsurgency campaign during his right-wing government. He was later found guilty of corruption.

Keiko Fujimori’s legal troubles could help President Martin Vizcarra, who threatened to dissolve Congress last month to pressure the opposition to pass his proposed judicial and political reforms.

A twice-defeated presidential candidate, Fujimori has led the Popular Force since her father was imprisoned in 2007.

2018-10-19T17:53:13+00:00