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Preventive detention ordered against Pedro Castillo in Peru for 18 months

(CNN Spanish) –– Former President Pedro Castillo will remain in pretrial detention for 18 months, ordered the Peruvian Judiciary.

During the hearing this Thursday, Supreme Judge Juan Carlos Checkley justified the decision due to the complexity of the case involving the former president. Checkley said pre-trial arrests apply to cases of “serious crimes”, flight risks and the “high probability that the crime has been committed”.

“There is no other way to stop the flight risk,” prosecutor Alcides Mario Chinchay said, adding that the 18 months should cover the duration of the investigation.

During the hearing, Castillo’s lawyers defended the former head of state and said there was no flight risk. They also denied that Castillo has ever applied for asylum, adding that he has young children and elderly parents who depend on him in Peru.

At Wednesday’s hearing, the Supreme Court of Preliminary Investigation evaluated the request for preventive detention against Castillo and the former Prime Minister of Peru, Aníbal Torres, both being investigated for the crime of rebellion.

Supporters of former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo block the Pan-American Highway in the town of La Joya. Credit: DIEGO RAMOS/AFP via Getty Images

Castillo has been detained since December 7 at the headquarters of the National Division of Special Operations (Dinoes), after Congress approved his vacancy hours after announcing that it would dissolve it.

The former president faces the crime of rebellion, for breaking the constitutional order by ordering the closure of Congress on December 7, and also for “conspiracy, to the detriment of the State,” reported the Public Ministry of Peru In the past week.

Castillo’s defense denied the accusations of rebellion and conspiracy against the president and rejected the accusations of the Prosecutor’s Office.

According to the lawsuit document obtained by CNN, the attorney general, Patricia Benavides, accuses Castillo of being a co-perpetrator of the crimes of rebellion and conspiracy and the perpetrator of the crimes of abuse of authority and serious disturbance of public peace. The document is addressed to the president of Congress, José Williams Zapata.

In October, Benavides filed a constitutional complaint against Castillo based on three of the six investigations his office had opened. The complaint allows Congress to conduct its own investigation against the former president.

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