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Peru asks Trump to deport ex-President Toledo accused of corruption

By Andrew V. Pestano
Peru asks Trump to deport ex-President Toledo accused of corruption
Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo allegedly took $20 million in bribes from the Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht. Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on Sunday asked U.S. President Donald Trump to consider deporting Toledo. Photo courtesy of Alejandro Toledo

Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski asked U.S. President Donald Trump to consider deporting former President Alejandro Toledo, who is accused of taking more than $20 million in bribes.

Kuczynski made the request to Trump via a phone call Sunday. Peruvian officials said that U.S. officials would not arrest Toledo until more information of his alleged crimes was shared.

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"We must act relentlessly and immediately to stop the rot of corruption in Peru," Kuczynski said in a statement on Sunday.

On Thursday, a Peruvian judge ordered Toledo's arrest. The Peruvian government has offered a nearly $30,000 bounty to whomever captures and returns Toledo to Peru, or provides information leading to his capture.

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Toledo is accused of taking bribes as part of the massive, international Odebrecht corruption scandal, over which the Brazilian company in December was ordered to pay $2.6 billion in criminal penalties.

Politicians in several countries are accused of accepting bribes -- either personal bribes or bribes distributed to their political party -- in exchange for lucrative government contracts for Odebrecht and Braskem, another Brazilian firm.

Jorge Barata, Odebrecht's former executive director who is cooperating with international anti-corruption authorities, accused Toledo of receiving $20 million in bribes from Odebrecht for a contract to build a highway between Brazil and Peru.

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"Alejandro Toledo is a great shame, a betrayal of Peru," Kuczynski said earlier this month.

Toledo has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and likened the actions against him as a political witch hunt.

"I've never escaped from anything, but they call me 'fugitive' -- a Machiavellian political distortion that I reject," Toledo said in a statement Sunday. "All Peruvians have the right to the presumption of innocence and due process within the law."

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Toledo said he would return to Peru if he could get a fair trial.

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