Mon. Oct 18th, 2021

Fujimori, who conceded last month after a failed presidential election, is accused of taking illegal money from the Odebrecht firm in Brazil.

Corruption proceedings against Peruvian opposition politician Keiko Fujimori began a preliminary trial on Tuesday, a few weeks after she admit defeat in her third unsuccessful presidential battle.

Fujimori loses the Expires June 6 against left Pedro Castillo with 49.87 percent of the vote up to his 50.12 percent.

Fujimori’s election victory would have meant freedom of prosecution for the duration of her presidential term on charges stemming from a protracted corruption case involving Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

She is accused of taking illegal money of Odebrecht to fund failed presidential bid in 2011 and 2016.

Supporters of the President of Peru, Pedro Castillo, are meeting when Prime Minister Guido Bellido underwent a critical mistrust by the opposition led by Congress on August 26 in Lima. [File: Sebastian Castaneda/Reuters]

The 46-year-old daughter of former president Alberto Fujimori, who was jailed, denies the allegations.

But prosecutors said they would seek a 30-year, 10-month prison sentence for Fujimori on charges of money laundering, organized crime, obstruction of justice and false statements.

She has already served two pre-trial hearings and spent a total of 16 months behind bars until her release last year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The trial that opened on Tuesday before Judge Victor Zuniga is the first step in the first trial of a prominent Peruvian political figure in the Odebrecht scandal.

It is intended to review the charge sheet against Fujimori and 39 co-accused, after which the judge can partially or partially approve the charge laid by prosecutor Jose Domingo Perez.

A protester takes part in a march demanding the retirement of Peruvian President Pedro Castillo in Lima, Peru [File: Sebastian Castaneda/Reuters]

The accused include Fujimori’s husband, American Mark Vito Villanella, and others who were members or leaders of her Popular Force Party — long dominant in Peruvian politics but now the second largest in parliament after Castillo’s free Peru movement.

Fujimori was not in court on Tuesday, but was represented by her lawyer Giuliana Loza.

Under the conditions for her release from detention before the trial, Fujimori may not leave Lima without special permission or have contact with witnesses in the case.

The pre-trial can take days, weeks or even months.

Four former presidents are involved in the Odebrecht affair, including two-month-old leader Alan Garcia, who committed suicide in 2019 when police came to his home to arrest him.

Alberto Fujimori is in prison on unrelated charges of corruption and crimes against humanity.

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