LIMA, PERU (AP) – A Peruvian judge on Sunday ordered President Pedro Castillo’s sister-in-law to be held in prison up to 2.5 years while she is investigated for criminal association and corruption for her participation in an alleged money laundering scheme involving the president and first lady.
After postponing his decision twice, judge Johnny Gómez said there was “a high probability of fleeing” for Yenifer Paredes, 26, and ordered her pretrial detention.
Paredes had been raised by Castillo and his spouse as their daughter after her mother died. It is the first time in Peru that a relative so close to a sitting president has been sent to prison.
Defence lawyers said they would appeal the decision and Castillo has denied all the accusations against him.
Paredes had turned herself in to the prosecutor’s office on August 10, a day after police went to the presidential palace to arrest her but failed to find her there. She had been serving 18 days while being questioned at a police station.
The prosecutor’s office asked a judge last week to impose a three-year preventative sentence.
Castillo has not commented on the detention of his relative. But at the time she turned herself in, he said “they will pull out all the stops to continue hitting my family, my parents, brothers, it is part of the struggle but they are not going to break me”.