The Humalas' imprisonment: a case of double standards?

5 August 2017

On 4 August, the appeal judge reviewing the case of the imprisonment of former president Ollanta Humala and first lady Nadine Heredia rejected the appeal lodged by the Humalas’ lawyers. They will remain in prison.

The polemical judgement ratified the earlier accusations of the public prosecutor that the indications of money laundering were sufficiently serious to justify imprisonment while there was a high probability that the former presidential couple, if freed, would seek to pervert the course of justice.

The new judgement was criticised by the Instituto de Defensa Legal (IDL) as being even less satisfactory in the arguments used than the original sentence passed by Judge Concepción Corhuancho.

Furthermore, in a week when the Brazilian press repeated the information that Marcelo Odebrecht helped fund Keiko Fujimori’s campaign in the 2011 elections, the judgement appears to reveal serious double standards. Fujimori’s supporters in the Congress have been swift to dismiss demands from the left-wing Frente Amplio that she should be subject to a parliamentary investigation and even preventative detention.

For his part, the former public prosecutor Avelino Guillén has argued that the new information that has come to light should be subjected to the same sort of rigorous investigation as that applied to the case concerning the Humalas.

The Fujimorista Rosa Bartra, who presides over the parliamentary committee investigating the Lava Jato (Car Wash) scandal in Peru, claimed that Keiko would be subject to investigation only when fresh and relevant information comes to light. Héctor Becerril, a Fujimori henchman, argued that the information coming from Brazil was nothing more than a “farcical smokescreen”.

Testimony provided by Odebrecht shows that it was a common practice of the Brazilian construction giant to make contributions to presidential candidates in Peru, and that money was provided to help fund the most likely winners of the 2011 elections, including Keiko Fujimori and the APRA candidate (who subsequently withdrew from the race) Mercedes Araóz. Funding was only offered to Humala, who started the campaign as a rank outsider, at the behest of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Keiko Fujimori denies having received any money from Odebrecht.

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