American magistrate Thomas Hixson order Tuesday that the former president of Peru, Alejandro Toledo, is extradited to Peru.
Toledo fled to the United States after the Republic of Peru accused him of collusion and money laundering. The United States has also filed criminal charges against Toledo, accusing him of violating the Peruvian Penal Code through influence peddling, collusion and money laundering in Peru. Shortly thereafter, the court ordered Toledo’s detention.
In August, Peru submitted an additional extradition request containing criminal information against Toledo, including details relating to the charges of collusion and money laundering. Less than a month later, Toledo filed a petition for an extradition refusal and argued that the United States and Peru did not have a probable cause for which he had committed the alleged offenses. The United States, however, replied that there was probable cause and asked the court to “dismiss Toledo’s request and certify his extradition.”
Hixson J. recalled Article I of the United States-Peru Treaty, which requires the United States to surrender and extradite fugitives accused of an “extraditable offense”. Extraditable offenses are those which are “punishable under the laws of the United States and Peru to deprivation of liberty for a maximum period of more than one year or to a more severe penalty”. The court concluded that Toledo
the conduct which is the subject of the collusion charge would be punishable under [US] law as a plot to defraud the United States. . . and the conduct that is the subject of the money laundering charge would be punishable as money laundering… or as transporting funds for the purposes of money laundering.
The court admitted that “the case against Toledo is not watertight” due to conflicting witness statements, but nevertheless concluded that this loophole did not “overcome the probable cause to believe that Toledo committed collusion and money laundering “.
Before Toledo can be extradited, the US State Department must provide final approval. However, the Peruvian Minister of Justice, Anibal Torres tweeted that he praised Judge Hixon’s order and his support for Peru’s right to try Toledo.