LIMA – The head of Peru’s team of prosecutors investigating bribery by Brazilian corruption giant Odebrecht said on Thursday that the detention of opposition leader Keiko Fujimori on suspicion of accepting illegal campaign contributions was justified.
Rafael Vela told RPP Noticias radio that the prosecutor in charge of the case, Jose Domingo Perez, has been “carrying out a very thorough investigation for more than a year.”
“Perez is a very meticulous prosecutor who always guarantees the rights of defendants,” Vela said, adding that the request to detain Keiko “was within due process.”
Fujimori, leader of the Fuerza Popular party, was taken into custody Wednesday during a court hearing in front of Judge Richard Concepcion Carhuancho.
The judge ordered her to be held for 10 days along with 19 other people, including two former Cabinet ministers and people accused of funneling illegal contributions from Obedrecht to Keiko Fujimori’s unsuccessful 2011 and 2016 presidential campaigns.
Concepcion Carhuancho said that he granted the prosecution’s request because there were “well-founded elements of conviction” on charges of money laundering and obstruction of justice.
Both Marcelo Obedrecht, the company CEO, and Odebrecht’s former top executive in Peru, Jorge Barata, have told Peruvian prosecutors that the construction giant provided campaign contributions to Keiko Fujimori, who has repeatedly denied having received that money.
Keiko inherited the party leadership from her father, disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori, who is expected to return to prison soon to complete serving a 25-year sentence for crimes against humanity.
The elder Fujimori left custody in December 2017 with a pardon from then-President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, but a Supreme Court judge subsequently revoked the measure on constitutional grounds.
Keiko Fujimori says she is the victim of political persecution.