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Israel Bars Peru's Fugitive Ex-Leader Alejandro Toledo
Mr Toledo governed Peru from 2001 to 2006
February 13th, 2017 | 08:31 AM | 1562 views
Israel says Peru's fugitive former President Alejandro Toledo, wanted on corruption charges, will not be allowed to enter the country.
His arrest was requested in Peru last week over allegations he took $20m (£16m) in bribes. He denies wrongdoing.
The ex-leader was believed to be in San Francisco and could try to fly to Israel.
He is a visiting professor at Stanford University and his wife, Eliane Karp, has Israeli citizenship.
Mr Toledo, who governed from 2001 to 2006, is accused of receiving money from Brazilian building firm Odebrecht in return for a contract to build stretches of a highway linking Peru and Brazil.
Authorities in Peru offer a reward of $30,000 (£24,000) for information leading to his capture.
Israel's foreign ministry said in a statement that Mr Toledo would not be allowed entry in the country before "his affairs in Peru are settled".
Before the announcement, reports suggested that he could have been on a flight to Israel. But when the plane landed in Tel Aviv, Mr Toledo was found not to be on board.
Odebrecht is at the centre of a multi-national corruption scandal. It admitted, as part of a plea deal with the US justice department, to paying nearly $800m (£640m) in bribes to governments across Latin America.
The company said it paid $29m in Peru to secure contracts between 2005 and 2014.
That time spans the presidencies of Mr Toledo and his two successors in office, Alan Garcia and Ollanta Humala, who have also denied any wrongdoing.
Peru said Interpol issued a red alert to 190 member countries to help find him, but Mr Toledo did not appear on its list of wanted persons.
The current president of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, has urged him to return to the country to face questioning.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Carlos Basombrio told Reuters news agency that the US had informed Peru that there did not appear to be sufficient probable cause to merit detaining Mr Toledo, and had asked the country to refile its request.
courtesy of BBC NEWS
by BBC News
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