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Peru court orders Fujimori detention in graft probe

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© Provided by AFP Keiko Fujimori has accused the judge and prosecutor dealing with her case of conspiring against her to try to end her political career

AFP

Peru's powerful opposition leader Keiko Fujimori was taken into custody on Wednesday after a court ordered she be held in preventive detention for three years pending the outcome of a corruption probe.

The 43-year-old daughter of disgraced and jailed former president Alberto Fujimori is accused of accepting $1.2 million in illicit party funding from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

In ordering her detention, judge Richard Concepcion Carhuancho said there was a "serious suspicion" that Fujimori was running a "de facto criminal organization that is entrenched within" her Popular Force political party and had laundered illicit money.

Concepcion Carhuanco described Fujimori, who hugged her tearful husband in court before she was led away by police officers, as a "high flight risk" and said "the only necessary measure in her case is undoubtedly preventive detention."

Public prosecutor Jose Domingo Perez had requested she be detained during the ongoing investigation into alleged illegal funding from Odebrecht towards Fujimori's 2011 presidential election campaign.

Fujimori's lawyer, Giuliana Loza is expected to appeal the verdict and has three days to do so.

The judge took eight hours to reach his verdict which almost certainly scuppers Fujimori's hopes of running for the presidency in 2021.

Fujimori has twice before run for the presidency by lost out in a run-off both in 2011 and 2016, despite the Popular Force party she founded in 2001 winning the most votes in both those elections.

She had been the Andean country's most popular politician and was trying to continue a family legacy begun by her father, the son of Japanese immigrants, who was president from 1990 to 2000.

The 80-year-old, currently recovering in hospital from a chronic heart condition, is 12 years into a 25-year sentence for crimes against humanity and corruption.

Peru's constitution allows for suspects to be held without trial for up to 36 months in complex cases such as the Odebrecht investigation, which involves tracing millions of dollars in illicit payments.

It also ensures that suspects cannot interfere with evidence or witnesses in an ongoing investigation.

Keiko Fujimori has accused the judge and prosecutor of conspiring against her, claiming "they are trying to get me out of politics, bury me."

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World - U.S. Daily News: Peru court orders Fujimori detention in graft probe
Peru court orders Fujimori detention in graft probe
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