politics

Peru Ex-President Stopped From Leaving Country Amid Scandal

Updated on
  • Kuczynski resigned on March 21 facing bribery allegations
  • Prosecutors search two of Kuczynski’s homes in and around Lima

Former Peru President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who resigned this week over allegations he was involved in the continent-wide Carwash bribery scandal, has been barred from leaving the country, the prosecutor’s office said on Twitter.

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski

Photographer: Guillermo Gutierrez/Bloomberg

Prosecutors Hamilton Castro and Sergio Jimenez signed the order as their colleagues searched two of the ex-leader’s homes in and around Lima, the South American nation’s capital, according to a second tweet. The order stops Kuczynski from traveling abroad for 18 months and his passport has been rescinded, the Associated Press reported.

Congress accepted Kuczynski’s resignation on Friday after he stood down hours before a second impeachment vote. Kuczynski, a 79-year-old Wall Street veteran and former finance minister, had beaten a first attempt at impeachment in December after facing allegations that a company he owned took money from Brazilian builder Odebrecht SA, which doled out hundreds of millions in bribes across the region.

In a series of his own tweets, Kuczynski said he would fully cooperate in the bribery investigation, allow prosecutors to view his bank accounts and adhere to the travel ban. “I have nothing to fear,” he wrote.

Former President Alberto Fujimori fled to Japan when his term ended in 2000 as he faced accusations of corruption and human-rights abuses. More recently, another ex-leader, Alejandro Toledo, was believed to have fled to the U.S. and was then stopped from boarding a flight to Israel, which doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Peru, in February 2017. Toledo was also embroiled in the Odebrecht scandal.

“Peru since the 19th century has watched the sad show as presidents and ex-presidents flee the country and justice,” Castro told AP. “This is the historical behavior that we seekers of justice have to take into account.”

Former First Vice President Martin Vizcarra has replaced Kuczynski.

— With assistance by John Quigley

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