Peru prosecutor requests preventive detention of prez candidate

6/11/2021

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 Peru's anti-corruption prosecutor Jose Domingo Perez has requested a new pre-trial detention of presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori to prevent her from interfering in an ongoing investigation.

"It has been determined once again that the defendant Fujimori Higuchi does not comply with the restriction of not communicating with witnesses," Perez said in a petition sent to Judge Victor Zuniga on Thursday.

Fujimori, who is under investigation in relation to the case of Odebrecht, one of the largest bribery and graft scandals in Latin America, "is communicating with Miguel Torres Morales", a witness to alleged illegal campaign financing for her 2011 and 2016 presidential bids, according to Perez.

Perez noted that during a televised conference of Fujimori's Popular Force party on Wednesday, Torres appeared alongside Keiko, as a lawyer and spokesperson for the political organisation.

At the conference, Torres said the party would move to annul the results of 802 polling stations in Sunday's presidential runoff due to alleged irregularities in the electoral process.

So far, Fujimori's rival Pedro Castillo, of the left-leaning Free Peru party, is leading the vote count, though by a razor-thin margin.

Torres has denied witnessing any illicit activities.

The daughter of former president Alberto Fujimori is accused of having received $1.2 million in campaign funding from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, which has admitted to systematically bribing officials and politicians throughout the region in exchange for lucrative government contracts.

Keiko Fujimori spent more than a year in preventive detention between October 2018 and May 2020, at the request of the prosecutor's office.

With 99.99 per cent of the ballots tabulated, she trails Castillo with 49.79 per cent of the votes as against the latter's 50.20 per cent.

Source: IANS

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