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Former Peru President Alejandro Toledo
Photo: AP
Former Peru president wanted for corruption probe heading to Israel
US authorities informed Peru government they are not planning to stop former president Alejandro Toledo from boarding a flight from California to Israel; Toledo's wife is Israeli, while his friend Israeli businessman Yosef Maiman is believed to have been involved in corruption case; Peru has no extradition treaty with Israel.

LIMA/SAN FRANCISCO - Peru has been informed by US authorities that they are not planning to keep former Peru President Alejandro Toledo, who is wanted in connection with a corruption probe, from boarding a flight to Israel from California on Sunday, a source in Peru's Interior Ministry has said.

 

 

The US Justice and State Departments did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

 

The source said it was unclear why the United States did not want to detain Toledo. The government of Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was pressuring for the United States to change its mind, the source said.

 

Former Peru President Alejandro Toledo (Photo: AP)
Former Peru President Alejandro Toledo (Photo: AP)

 

The dispute threatens to strain relations between the United States and one of its traditional allies in South America.

 

Toledo is booked on an 8pm (4am GMT) flight from San Francisco to Tel Aviv, the source said.

 

Peru has an extradition treaty with the United States but does not have one with Israel.

 

A judge in Peru issued an international arrest warrant for Toledo Thursday, and the government offered a 100,000 soles ($30,000) reward for any information leading to his capture after he failed to turn himself in to authorities.

 

Peru has said Interpol issued a red alert to 190 member countries to help find him, but Toledo does not appear on its list of wanted persons. Interpol has not responded to requests for comment on Toledo.

 

Prosecutors in Peru allege Toledo took $20 million in bribes from Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht and a judge ruled that he must be jailed for up to 18 months while charges against him are prepared.

 

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

 

Toledo, who has earned economics degrees from Stanford University, has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged or convicted of any crimes.

 

Toledo's lawyer said he did not know Toledo's whereabouts and declined further comment.

 

Toledo's wife has Israeli citizenship and Toledo has a long friendship with Israeli businessman Yosef Maiman, who prosecutors accuse of acting as a middleman for at least $10 million in alleged bribes.

 

A former Odebrecht executive has said he personally negotiated the bribes with Toledo in Rio de Janeiro in 2004, prosecutors say.

 

Maiman has not responded to requests for comment.

 

Kuczynski served as finance minister and then prime minister in Toledo's 2001-2006 government, when Peru awarded lucrative highway contracts to Odebrecht.

 

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