Peru opposition leader detained in money laundering probe


LIMA (Reuters) – Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori and leader of the opposition in Peru, was arrested on Wednesday as part of an investigation into allegations of money laundering.

FILE PHOTO: Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori arrives to visit her father after Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski pardoned him who was serving a 25-year prison sentence, at Centenario hospital in Lima, Peru, December 24, 2017. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

Fujimori was detained when she arrived at the state prosecutor’s office to testify in the case, under Peru’s Organized Crime Law, according to an official document seen by Reuters.

Her lawyer, Giuliana Loza, told local radio station RPP that the decision to arrest Fujimori had been “abusive and arbitrary.”

“There is not a jot of evidence against her,” she said.

Fujimori leads the powerful conservative opposition party, Popular Force, which has a majority in Congress and was key to helping topple former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in a graft scandal in March.

Last week, a pardon granted to her father by Kuczynski was annulled.

Following his extradition to Peru in 2007, Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in prison for commanding death squads that massacred civilians in a counterinsurgency campaign during his rightwing government. He was later found guilty of corruption.

Keiko Fujimori’s legal troubles could help President Martin Vizcarra, who threatened to dissolve Congress last month to pressure the opposition to pass his proposed judicial and political reforms.

A twice-defeated presidential candidate, Keiko Fujimori has led Popular Force since her father was imprisoned in 2007.

Reporting by Marco Aquino, Ana Maria Espinoza and Mitra Taj, Writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Ross Colvin and Rosalba O’Brien

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