Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Peru’s ex-president 'shoots himself as police arrive to arrest him'

Former president of Peru Alan Garcia arrives at the prosecutor's office in Lima on Feb. 16 2017 Former president of Peru Alan Garcia arrives at the prosecutor's office in Lima on Feb. 16 2017
Jeannette Daniel | 17 April, 2019, 18:43

Former president of Peru Alan Garcia arrives to the National Prosecution office to testify in Odebrecht case in Lima, Peru February 16, 2017.

Former Peruvian president Alan Garcia has reportedly shot himself in the head as police arrived at his home to arrest him.

Garcia, 69, was rushed to the hospital in the capital Lima on Wednesday, the agency said.

Garcia, who is now in dire condition in hospital, is not the only president of Peru to have had his regime marred by mass corruption. A doctor who spoke to journalists alongside Tomas at the hospital said the bullet entered and left his head.

A warrant for Mr Garcia's arrest had been issued in relation to allegations the former leader had received an illegal payment from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Local TV channel America reported Garcia was undergoing emergency surgery and was in a critical condition.

"Let's pray to God to give him strength", he said.

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Garcia, who served two terms (1985 to 1990 and from 2006 to 2011) is now under investigation by authorities over bribery claims involving an explosive corruption scandal.

Odebrecht has admitted that it paid $29million to Peruvian officials during three Presidential tenures, but Mr Garcia maintains his innocence and has slammed the inquiry as a political smear.

In November 2018, a judge banned Garcia from leaving the country prompting him to request asylum at the Uruguayan embassy - a request which was denied.

Neighbouring South American nation Uruguay rejected his asylum plea late a year ago.

Four of Peru's most recent presidents are all being investigated for alleged corruption with a fifth - Alberto Fujimori - is serving prison time for corruption and human rights abuses. Prosecutors are now seeking to extend Kuczynski's detention until he can be brought to trial.

In Peru, criminal suspects can be ordered to spend up to three years in jail before trial if prosecutors can show they have evidence that likely would lead to a conviction and the suspect would likely flee or try to interfere in the investigation.

All have denied wrongdoing in connection with Odebrecht.

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