(Bloomberg) -- Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, arrested two years ago in connection with Latin America’s biggest bribery scandal, lost his bid to block his extradition from the U.S. to Peru.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson on Tuesday granted Peru’s request to send Toledo back to his home country to face trial.
“The court has heard and considered the evidence of criminality and deems it sufficient to sustain the charges of collusion and money laundering under the provisions of the extradition treaty between the United States of America and the Republic of Peru,” Hixson said in his ruling.
Peru had asked the U.S. State Department to extradite Toledo in 2018. The country has accused him of graft, collusion and money laundering related to a bribery scheme it says involved Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht SA paying at least $34 million in bribes for favorable treatment in the bidding war for contracts to build the Peru-Brazil Southern Interoceanic Highway.
Toledo has denied any wrongdoing. In court filings, he’s said that bribes by Odebrecht weren’t paid to him but to Josef Maiman, an Israeli businessman, who falsely claimed to be acting on his behalf. His attorneys have argued that Toledo shouldn’t be extradited as there’s no “probable cause” that shows he committed offenses.
Toledo was “simply pointing the finger” at Maiman and Peru has sufficient evidence that supports its extradition request, Justice Department attorneys told the court in filings.
Read More: Peru’s Ex-Leader Plays Virus Card to Get Out of U.S. Jail
Toledo, a once celebrated reform politician, served as Peru’s president from 2001 to 2006. U.S. marshals arrested him in 2019 at his home in the Silicon Valley city of Menlo Park. In a search of the house, they found a suitcase with $40,000 in cash.
The case is USA v. Manrique, 3:19-mj-71055, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
BNN Bloomberg Picks
Taking the leap from investing to wealth management
Staring down the barrel: Wineries face supply shortage, cost increases
Return-to-office plans are colliding with a shortage of key supplies
Holmes hired dermatologist when going got rough
Porsche's electric Taycan pulls ahead of the iconic 911 in sales
Virgin Galactic falls after pushing back first commercial flight