March 18, 2019 / 8:12 PM / 6 months ago

Peruvian ex-president arrested for being drunk in public in California

Peru's former president Alejandro Toledo Manrique poses in a police booking photo at San Mateo County jail in Redwood City, California, U.S. in this handout photograph released on March 18, 2019. San Mateo County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Peru’s former president, Alejandro Toledo, considered a fugitive in Peru, was arrested for being drunk in public in California and released early on Monday, authorities in California said.

Since 2017, Toledo, a resident of California, has refused to heed orders by a local judge to spend up to 18 months in pre-trial detention in connection with a massive bribery probe.

The United States is still evaluating Peru’s request to extradite Toledo.

Toledo, 73, was arrested in San Mateo County late on Sunday after being reported to the sheriff’s office for being drunk in a restaurant, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s office said in a statement.

The sheriff’s office said it was aware of Toledo’s legal troubles in Peru, but added that “the existence of charges in Peru alone does not authorise the subject’s arrest in the United States.”

Peru’s foreign ministry also confirmed Toledo’s arrest, which was first reported by local Peruvian broadcaster RPP.

In a telephone interview with Reuters, Toledo denied he had been arrested, describing information about his arrest as part of a conspiracy orchestrated by his political opponents.

Peruvian prosecutors have accused Toledo, president of Peru from 2001-2006, of taking $20 million (£15 million) from a Brazilian construction firm in exchange for help securing a lucrative contract. Toledo denies any wrongdoing.

Reporting By Mitra Taj and Marco Aquino; Editing by Dan Grebler

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