US Judge Denies Peruvian Ex-President Toledo’s Bid to Block Extradition

Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo and his wife Eliane Karp arrives to the 2015 IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Lima, Peru, October 8, 2015. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo/File Photo
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WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) – A U.S. federal judge in Washington on Thursday denied former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo’s bid to block his extradition to Peru, where he faces corruption charges.

His lawyers had filed for an emergency stay earlier in the day to block his extradition, which was planned for Friday.

“His emergency motion to stay is denied,” U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said in an order on Thursday.

The former Peruvian leader’s lawyers argued in their early morning filing that a stay of his detention and extradition was “necessary to avoid imminent and irreparable harm of an erroneous deprivation of liberty, and possibly also life” if he is extradited on the Friday deadline set by a judge in California.

In her ruling, Howell said Toledo “has long been afforded substantial process” in the U.S. courts to contest his extradition. Howell, citing various legal factors, also said Toledo had failed to “demonstrate entitlement” to a stay of his extradition.

Toledo on Wednesday asked the U.S. District Court in Washington to reconsider its March 28 refusal to approve a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order.

Toledo, who was president from 2001 to 2006, is wanted over charges that he received more than $25 million from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in exchange for help in obtaining public works contracts. Prosecutors are seeking a 20-year prison sentence.

Toledo has denied soliciting or receiving bribes and has not been criminally charged in the United States.

The former president was arrested in the United States in July 2019 after a formal request by Peru for his extradition. He was released on bail in 2020 and was living in California until at least last year.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Mike Scarcella; editing by Jonathan Oatis
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