Former Peruvian President’s Corruption Trial Begins
The corruption trial of former Peruvian President Ollanta Humala Tasso and his wife began on Monday, with the prosecutor arguing that the couple received millions of dollars in bribes from the Venezuelan government and the graft-ridden Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.
Most of the money Humala Tasso and the former first lady Nadine Heredia allegedly laundered and spent for the 2006 and 2011 presidential campaigns.
“In this trial we are going to prove that the Nationalist Party of Peru submitted to the economic interests of Venezuela and Brazil,” the Prosecutor’s Office announced on Twitter.
Odebrecht has paid nearly $800 million in bribes to top officials in Latin America in exchange for lucrative public works contracts.
Prosecutors requested a 20-year sentence for Humala Tasso and 26 years for Heredia, who’s been accused of having used the money to buy properties.
According to prosecutors, Marcelo Odebrecht asked his former superintendent in Peru Jorge Barata to make a $3 million ‘contribution’ to Humala Tasso’s campaign.
The first lady allegedly received $316,000 from another Brazilian construction company through her brother Ilán Heredia.
The enormous Odebrecht corruption scandal involves also other Peruvian presidents, but Humala Tasso was the first to be arrested.
Alejandro Toledo, also a former president, was detained in the U.S. and is awaiting extradition, and Pedro Pablo Kuczsynski is currently under house arrest in Peru. Alan García, who led the country between 2006 and 2011, shot himself in 2019 shortly before officers arrived at his house to arrest him for Odebrecht related bribery.