Tue, 20 Aug 2019

Peru's former president Alan Garcia shot himself in the head at his home on Wednesday as police were about to arrest him in a sprawling corruption case, his lawyer and hospital officials said. He succumbed to his injury.

Peru's Health Minister Zulema Tomas said Garcia was in a "very critical and very serious" condition.

The attempted arrest took place at 06:30 (11:30 GMT) at Garcia's home in the upmarket Miraflores neighbourhood of Lima.

"This morning there was a regrettable accident: The president took the decision to shoot himself," Erasmo Reyna, Garcia's lawyer, told reporters outside the hospital.

In November he sought refuge in the Uruguayan Embassy after a court ordered him not to leave the country for 18 months.

Garcia, a social democrat, claimed to be the target of political persecution, an accusation denied by centrist President Martin Vizcarra.

In recent weeks, Garcia had insisted that "there is no statement, evidence or deposit that links me to any crime and even less so with the Odebrecht company or the execution of any of its projects".

Money laundering and bribes

Kuczynski was urgently taken to hospital on Wednesday suffering from high blood pressure, lawmaker Gilbert Violeta said.

Kuczynski is under a 10-day preliminary detention until April 20, accused of money laundering. Toledo faces extradition from the United States, having been charged with taking a $20m Odebrecht bribe.

Some of those payments were allegedly made during Garcia's second term in office to secure a contract to build the Lima metro.

Prosecutors allege that Garcia and 21 other officials conspired to enable Dutch company ATM Terminals to win a 2011 concession to operate a terminal at the port of Callao, near Lima.

His daughter and opposition leader Keiko Fujimori is being held in pre-trial detention for up to three years, accused of accepting $1.2m in illicit party funding from Odebrecht for her 2011 presidential campaign.

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