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Extradition of Alejandro Toledo to be decided by March 2021

The processes that determine whether an extradition request is admissible are not only strictly related to the jurisdictional bodies of the countries involved, but also to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice, and some jurisdictions even empower the President of the country where the defendant is located to decree the acceptance or not of the passive extradition.

Extradition is a legal process that occurs when a State makes the request The so-called active extradition - called active extradition - concerns the surrender of an accused person detained or placed at the disposal of a court in another country, which has arisen from an international arrest warrant and with the intention of prosecuting him or her or continuing the sentence already imposed in another territory. This figure is regulated by international treaties and by the laws of each country, so to guarantee it there must be prior agreement between nations. 

For this reason, the specific bilateral treaties or agreements contain the time limits that determine the process, including procedural time limits such as those for the formalization of the request for active extradition. 

This is why the processes have different stages, depending on the countries involved. In this regardthe decision on extradition of former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, already has a deadline before Judge Thomas Hixson of the Northern District Court of California, who accepted the proposed calendar for the case, which establishes March 11, 2021 as the deadline for sentencing. 

In the face of extraordinary conditions, such as those generated by the pandemic, many legal proceedings have had to be rescheduled. by suspending the time limits of the legal processes, modifying the time of the processes, while the hearings and in-person or face-to-face acts are adapted to the new dynamics of biosafety. substitution of telematic events where the strictly face-to-face form of the hearings is not necessary. That is why the final decision in the extradition case of Alejandro Toledo has influenced the final decision to be made in March 2021.

In addition, the U.S. court dismissed the arguments of the former president's defense. Peruvian to avoid extradition, arguing that all the necessary legal requirements for extradition have been met. In that sense, it was alleged that Toledo is wanted for trial in Peru, a country that has duly charged him with the crimes he is being investigated for.

In an extradition, the defense must watch over and verify the legal principles of (I) dual criminality, (II) legality, (III) reciprocity, (IV) non-delivery to nationals, (V) specialty, (VI) respect for the penalty and finally (VII) the ".non bis in idem".

Toledo's case started in May 2018when the Peruvian Public Prosecutor's Office requested his extradition from the U.S. government. In July 2019, it was determined that the former Peruvian president had to face the legal proceedings as a detainee due to his escape attempts; however, in March 2020, the judge in charge agreed to place him under house arrest in his home due to the risk of contagion when he was in prison during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How has the extradition process of Alejandro Toledo been going?

The accusation of receiving more than $20 million in bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht is the reason for the extradition of the former president. The investigations were supported by the confession of the main front man of the accused, the Peruvian-Israeli businessman Josef Mainman, who assured to have received deposits of more than 21 million dollars, under Toledo's authorization, in exchange for the concession of construction works of Peru's road infrastructure, in charge of the companies Odebrecht and Camargo Correa. For the Latin American country, the penalty imposed for this crime may imply 16 years and eight months of imprisonment.

Peru and the United States are among the countries that have formalized their participation in the extradition agreements.The cooperation of the authorities in these cases tends to be more fluid and solid. The countries belonging to the Organization of American States (OAS) have adopted an inter-American convention on extradition, in which nations commit themselves to hand over to other signatory countries, upon request, those persons required by law for prosecution, as well as those indicted, convicted or sentenced to serve a custodial sentence.

For this type of processes Alan Aldana & Abogados has a Department specialized in International Criminal Law that handles processes in different jurisdictions, which allows for the effective execution of a solid and coordinated defense strategy.

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