LIMA, Peru (AP) — Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, who faces corruption charges in his homeland, was arrested in the United States following an extradition request, U.S. and Peruvian authorities said Tuesday.
The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Toledo and he appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson in Northern California, the U.S. Justice Department said. He was ordered held in custody pending a hearing on Friday, according to department spokeswoman Nicole Navas.
Toledo’s court appearance was “part of the process aimed at securing his return” to Peru, the attorney general’s office in Peru said on Twitter.
The ex-president is wanted in his home country on accusations of taking $20 million in bribes from Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction company at the center of Latin America’s biggest corruption scandal. Odebrecht has admitted to paying $800 million to officials throughout the region in exchange for lucrative public works contracts.
Heriberto Benítez, Toledo’s lawyer in Lima, told local radio station RPP that the defense will try to show that the ex-president faces political persecution in Peru.