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Fugitive former Supreme Court judge César Hinostroza detained in Spain on October 19

Reports indicate that on October 19 Spanish authorities detained former Supreme Court judge César Hinostroza in Madrid, where he fled on October 7 amid an ongoing judicial investigation. In July journalists released a recording where Hinostroza is allegedly heard negotiating the dismissal of charges against a sex offender. The scandal prompted the government to suspend Hinostroza, banning him from leaving the country while investigations continued. Following his arrival in Spain, authorities requested Interpol to issue a red notice requesting his capute. Additionally, Hinostroza’s escape to Spain prompted the resignation of Interior Minister Mauro Medina on October 17, after it was reported that the suspect was able to get past migrations despite the warrant banning him from traveling. Furthermore, reports indicate that on October 20 a prosecutor requested 36 months of preventive detention of Keiko Fujimori. The leader of the leader of Frente Popular (FP) was detained on October 10 for seven days amid ongoing corruption investigations. At the time of writing, as of October 22 judicial authorities have not approved the prosecutor’s request. Reports indicate that between October 22-23 the judge overseeing the case will schedule a date to review the charges pressed by the prosecutor’s office.

Given that Hinostroza has no feasible motives to back an asylum request other than avoiding due judicial process, Spain is likely to concede his extradition to Peru. Despite the initial turmoil that Hinostroza’s escape caused inside President Martín Vizcarra’s cabinet, the arrest of the former judge has been a face-saver for the incumbent administration, especially after Medina’s resignation. Nevertheless, as the investigation into the judiciary system continues, there are chances that corruption scandals may hit other parts of government, including the executive branch. With regards to Keiko Fujimori’s status, while she is liable to be released promptly if the judiciary rules there is no sufficient evidence against her, she could conversely be put under preventive detention for several weeks. As previously assessed, this scenario could potentially trigger a wider political response from the FP, which might attempt to shield Keiko in Congress, where it has a majority. As President Vizcarra would oppose these actions, a standoff between the president and Congress would add to political instability in the country.

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