Former president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-18) was taken into custody on 10 April. This was a preliminary move, for ten days, in order to continue the investigation on possible wrong-doing linked to the mega-case of bribes given by the troubled Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht.
Kuckzynski’s time as prime minister during the presidency of Alejandro Toledo (2001-06) is under investigation, in particular allegations that he changed the law to benefit Odebrecht and that he received illegal contributions to his presidential campaign in 2011. His secretary Gloria Kisic and driver José Luis Bernaola were also arrested. It is being rumoured that what motivated this extreme measure is the prosecution’s desire to have all three collaborate with the investigation.
An appeal has been launched by Kuczynski’s lawyers and there will be a hearing on 15 April to decide if he is to continue in custody or whether he should be released. On 12 April Kuczynski was questioned for five hours, although the main prosecutor in charge of the case, José Domingo Pérez was not present. The prosecuting lawyer Gladys Vallejo Santa María probed into the ex-president’s relationship with his then business partner Gerardo Sepúlveda.
The next few days will therefore decide whether Kuczynski will remain in custody or if he will continue to face proceedings against him in freedom. His supporters have pointed out that he has so far collaborated with the investigation in every way and that he will continue to do so. He was earlier barred from leaving Peru.