Two days after flatly denying being the leader of a criminal organization entrenched in the Palace during his tenure, Pedro Castillo formally faces a second 36-month preventive detention measure that, in the words of Judge Juan Carlos Checkley, is “suitable and proportional.” This time Castillo, who is also accused of collusion and influence peddling, was unable to intervene and listened with a grim gesture to the hearing from the Barbadillo prison, where if there are no changes in the process, it will remain until March 8, 2026. A scenario that his defense tried to avoid by all means.
In December, the union teacher was issued an initial preventive detention order of 18 months for the alleged crime of rebellion after his failed self-coup attempt to install an emergency government. This measure is independent. “There is no impediment to issuing a second order, as it is of a precautionary nature,” explained Judge Checkley. There are three main requirements for this measure: a strong suspicion of the commission of the crime; the possible sentence must be greater than four years; and high probabilities of flight risk and hindering investigations. According to the judge, Castillo complies with each of them.
In the first place, Checkley maintained that there are strong indications that the ex-governor is involved in the purchase of biodiesel for Petroperú in order to favor the company Heaven Petroleum Operators -a negotiation for which Castillo would have received two million soles-, as well as in an irregular tender for the construction of the Tarata Bridge, in the San Martín region. Regarding the second point, his probable sentence would be 32 years. And regarding the last requirement, the judge considers that Castillo does not have domiciliary roots, that his family is no longer in Peru (Mexico granted political asylum to his wife, Lilia Paredes, and their two children) and that, in addition, “he would have facilities to leave the country”, alluding to the fact that Castillo was arrested on December 7 when he was on his way to the Mexican Embassy.
But not only this: the magistrate pointed out that there is an alleged intimidation towards the witnesses, after the preliminary arrest of Jorge Ernesto Hernández Fernández, alias The Spanish, who is accused of coordinating a counterintelligence network orchestrated by Castillo to attack his opponents. Added to this is his attempt to intervene in the Judiciary, within the framework of his self-coup. “The result cannot be other than limiting Castillo’s freedom,” the judge summed up.
The Judiciary also issued 36 months of preventive detention against the former Minister of Transportation and Communications Juan Silva, who is a fugitive from justice. It is presumed that he could be in Bolivia. Likewise, Geiner Alvarado, former Minister of Housing, has been imposed an appearance with restrictions. He must follow rules of conduct and pay a bond of 35,000 soles (about $9,250). “He is a politically persecuted. We will appeal,” claimed Eduardo Pachas, Castillo’s lawyer, who will remain behind bars for a long time.
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