11 Days Remaining

Saturday 15th
posted by James Tweedie in World

FORMER Peruvian president Olllanta Humala and his wife were jailed for 18 months without charge or trial on Thursday night.

Judge Richard Concepcion ordered Mr Humala and Nadine Heredia be taken into custody pending the results of a probe into corruption allegations.

He claimed preventative detention was “appropriate and necessary” as there was a “high probability” the pair would try to escape justice — despite surrendering their passports to the court on Wednesday.

The couple were driven to the court under heavy police guard. There was no immediate word on where they would be held.

On the way Mr Humala tweeted: “This confirms the abuse of power which we will confront in defence of our rights and those of everyone.”

Before the ruling, he said there was no need for detention.

“We’re staying here, we’ve even handed over our passports,” Mr Humala told reporters who had gathered outside his home for three days.

“We are complying with all of the prosecutor’s orders,” he said. “We’ve been collaborating with the investigation because we have a big stake in this being cleared up.”

“In every moment we’ve shown our roots and good will. But the prosecutor sees everything we do in the opposite light. I think he’s been poisoned.”

Prosecutor German Juarez claimed to have evidence two executives from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht made an undeclared £2.3 million donation to

Mr Humala’s 2011 election campaign on behalf of Brazil’s then-governing Workers Party.

Odebrecht is under investigation across the continent for allegedly paying kickbacks totalling some £600 million in return for lucrative contracts.

He also accused the former president, who left office last year, of receiving secret funding for an earlier unsuccessful presidential campaign from Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

Mr Humala was part of the wave of progressivegovernments elected across Latin America from 1998 onwards, including Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva — convicted this week of corruption charges.

His successor Dilma Rousseff was impeached last August in what the Workers Party called a “legislative coup.”

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a former IMF and World Bank official, has joined forces with other right-wing regional presidents — including Brazil’s scandal-ridden Michel Temer — in calling for Mr Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro’s overthrow.