Pedro Castillo participates from prison in a court hearing for preliminary arrest

Former Peruvian president Pedro Castillo participated virtually this Thursday, from the prison where he has been held since yesterday, in a hearing to evaluate the request for pre-trial detention of the prosecutor’s office against him, while he is being investigated for rebellion for having ordered the dissolution of Congress .

Accompanied by his lawyer Víctor Pérez and his former prime minister Aníbal Torres, who is also defending him, Castillo listened to the arguments of the Public Prosecutor, together with Judge Juan Carlos Checkley, who requested pre-trial detention for seven days against him.

At the end of the hearing, the resolution of which will be issued “in accordance with the law”, Checkley gave the floor to the former president, but limited himself to stating “this is 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.

“My client’s statements in his message do not constitute the crime of rebellion (…) How can a person want to flee when he has not committed the alleged crimes of which he is accused,” Pérez said.

At the opposite extreme, the deputy supreme prosecutor Marco Huamán assured that the former president’s “high probability of escape” is evident, after having mentioned Castillo’s alleged intention to go to the Mexican embassy to leave his country.

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 attended this hearing after spending his first night in Barbadillo Prison in the Lima neighborhood of Ate, where former President Alberto Fuijimori, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence, is also being held, while he is being tried for rebellion and conspiracy.

The Public Prosecutor announced yesterday the start of these preliminary investigations while Castillo remained detained in the Prefecture of Lima for alleged “violation of the constitutional order”, after dictating this morning the temporary closure of Parliament and the establishment of a government of national emergency.

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.

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