The Judicial Branch of Peru issued 18 months of preventive detention against 14 of the 16 legal arbitrators accused of favoring the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht to the detriment of the State, within the framework of a great corruption scandal.
Jorge Chavez, magistrate of the Third Court of Investigation in Crimes of Corruption, said that the ruling “accepted the fiscal proposal that the high fees of the arbitrators are an undercover bribe.”
In reading the resolution, he pointed out that the arbitration proceedings in which the accused lawyers participated “were murky, favorable to Odebrecht with special characteristics” and explained that he was going to pronounce for the alleged commission of the crime of specific passive bribery against all the referees.
“A bribe is never public, it always seeks to hide,” Chavez said.
Among those sentenced is the lawyer Humberto Abanto , defender of the former general secretary of the populist right-wing Popular Force party, Jaime Yoshiyama , who is serving an 18-month preventive prison for alleged money laundering in the corruption scandal involving the giant Odebrecht.
The Prosecutor’s Office investigating corruption cases in Brazil’s Odebrecht had requested 36 months of preventive detention for alleged bribery and money laundering crimes.
Prosecutor Germán Juárez alleged that the arbitrators had allegedly issued awards in favor of Odebrecht and to the detriment of the State for up to $ 281 million.
The thesis of the Prosecutor’s Office is that the Brazilian construction company would have bribed arbitrators to fail in their favor in 26 controversies that it had with the State through sections 2 and 3 of the great Interoceanic South highways, the North Interoceanic, the Santa River project .
On the other hand, Judge Chávez rejected the serious suspicion of committing the crimes of illicit association to commit crimes, aggravated collusion and money laundering, which the prosecution maintained.
The two lawyers who were not sentenced to pretrial detention were Emilio Cassina Rivas for his age (80 years) and health status, who received 18-month house arrest, as well as his son Emilio Cassina Ramón, in appearance with restrictions.
The team “LavaJato / Odebrecht” directs the investigation that has also involved ex-plaintiffs Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006), who fled to the United States and now faces an extradition request; Ollanta Humala (2011-2016); Alan García (1985-1990, 2006-2011), who committed suicide in April; and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018), who resigned overwhelmed by allegations of corruption.
The opposition leader Keiko Fujimori , whose Popular Force party controlled the Congress, which was dissolved on September 30 by President Martín Vizcarra, is also investigated and imprisoned for this case.