Judge Hinostroza jumps Peru, but is jailed in Spain

20 October 2018

On 17 October it emerged that disgraced former Supreme Judge César Hinostroza had fled to Spain. Rumours had been circulating for a couple of days that he had left Peru. It was confirmed he had left over the northern border and had taken a flight from Guayaquil to Amsterdam and then Madrid, arriving on 7 October.

On 4 October, Congress had agreed that his case should be remitted to the courts, but the official communication to this end was not handed in until 17 October, so there was no order for his arrest. The migration authorities had been informed that Hinostroza was barred from travelling back in July, but he was nevertheless able to leave with the support of an employee of the border point at Tumbes. The boss of this employee is married to a congressman belonging to Fuerza Popular, Keiko’s party. 

The president of Congress, Daniel Salaverry, fired the officer in charge of processing the papers. Within the executive the minister of the interior resigned and Prime Minister César Villanueva presented his formal excuses to Congress on 18 October. In his speech he maintained that the government had known of Hinostroza’s flight since 7 October, but the president subsequently said this was not the case and that the executive only knew on 17 October. Villanueva subsequently had to admit that he had made a mistake about the date. 

While recriminations continue over who allowed Hinostroza to escape, conversations have begun with the Spanish government over his possible extradition or expulsion. He is currently in police custody in Madrid, having applied for political asylum. The case will continue. 

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