Peruvian supreme judge Juan Carlos Checkley ordered seven days of preventive detention on Thursday for former president Pedro Castillo, under investigation for allegedly committing the crime of rebellion, after announcing the closure of Parliament and the establishment of an emergency government.
“The Supreme Court of Preparatory Investigations, headed by Judge Juan Carlos Checkley, has seven days of preliminary custody against former President Pedro Castillo, under investigation for the crime of rebellion (alternatively conspiracy),” he announced the judiciary on their official Twitter account.
Checkley evaluated this morning, in a virtual hearing, the request of the prosecutor who asked for this measure against the former president, who has been detained since Wednesday in a prison in Lima, the same one where former president Alberto Fujimori is serving his sentence (1990-2000) of 25 prison.
In the resolution, shared by the Judiciary, the judge also declares the “legality of the detention” of Castillo and establishes that the term of judicial detention “will be in force from 7 to 13 December”.
During the hearing, the deputy supreme prosecutor Marco Huamán assured that the former president’s “high probability of flight” is evident, after having hinted at Castillo’s intention to go to the Mexican embassy to seek asylum, which was confirmed by the president of that country, Andres Manuel López Obrador.
Huamán indicated that the arrest of the former head of state is “necessary” to ensure the investigation and accused Castillo of having attempted to change the rule of law model established by the Constitution, in an illegal and fraudulent manner.
Castillo also attended the hearing virtually, accompanied by his lawyer Víctor Pérez and his former prime minister Aníbal Torres, who also defends him.
At the end of the hearing, Checkley gave the floor to the former president, who however limited himself to stating “that’s all”, alluding to what his lawyers said.
In his speech, Torres ensured that “coercive or coercive means” were never used during Castillo’s detention, but insisted that in this process “the principle of legality is flagrantly violated” considering that at no time the crimes attributed to the first President
Along the same lines, Pérez argued that Castillo’s announcement of the closure of Parliament did not imply an armed insurrection which, he said, requires the crime of rebellion and denied that there is a risk of flight, for which asked the judge to declare the Public Prosecutor’s request unfounded.
“The statements of my patron in his message do not constitute the crime of rebellion (…) How can a person want to escape when he has not committed the alleged crimes of which he is accused?” Pérez said.
The Public Prosecutor announced on Wednesday the opening of a preliminary investigation against Castillo for rebellion and criminal association, while the former president remained detained in the prefecture of Lima for alleged “violation of the constitutional order”, after ordering the temporary closure of Parliament and the establishment of a national emergency government.
That order was widely interpreted as a coup attempt, including by members of his cabinet.
The provision did not obtain the endorsement of the majority of the now former members of his government, nor of the Armed Forces, the State Police, the Constitutional Court and the Judiciary.
Hours later, Congress debated a third impeachment request against him, which was finally approved by 101 of the 130 lawmakers that make up the Peruvian chamber.