The husband of Peruvian legislator under investigation and in preventive detention since November for allegedly accepting over US$1 million in bribes from Odebrecht, Keiko Fujimori, has been declared free to leave the country by an appeals court.
Husband of Fujimori Mark Vito Villanella, was ordered to remain within Peru for 36 months on Nov. 27, 2018 by Judge Richard Concepcion Carhuancho for allegedly laundering money from 2012 to 2015 as part of the expansive ‘Cocktails’ case in which Keiko’s political party, Fuerza Popular (FP) accepted over US$1.2 million in illicit donations via Odebrecht for her 2011 and 2016 presidential campaigns.
The Special Unit for Organized Crime and Corruption of Officials (Suocc) of the Second Appeals Court of the Superior Court of Justice annulled Concepcion’s order against Vito Monday.
Concepcion had already been removed from his post as presiding judge over the ‘Cocktails’ case on Jan. 16 by a different appeals court claiming the legal expert was not acting “impartially” in the controversial case.
The Suocc, lead by Judge Octavio Sahuanay, declared that Judge Concepcion’s accusations against Vito were “unsubstantiated” and therefore negated the order against him to remain in Peru.
There are currently three candidates vying to be the new judge in the ‘Cocktail’ case.
Since Feb. 8 both Judge Concepcion and one of the main state prosecutors in the case, Jose Domingo Perez, have been under investigation for allegedly abusing their authority.
Those accusations come from former national Attorney General Pedro Chavarry on Jan. 7 days after Perez received two search warrants from Concepcion — one for Jan. 4 and the other for Jan. 6 — to raid Chavarry’s state offices for information regarding any illicit connection between the attorney general and Fujimori and the FP.
On Jan. 31, the senior anti-corruption prosecutor Escarleth Laura Escalante ordered the the preliminary investigation against Concepcion and Perez for 120 days.
Chavarry finally stepped down on Jan. 8 from political and public pressure after his assistants were caught on video surveillance taking documents from the offices taped off by Perez. The Public Ministry was declared under a state of emergency Jan. 9 to restore public confidence in the institution.