Peru court weighs releasing jailed opposition leader Fujimori

Lima (AFP) –


Peru's Supreme Court began a hearing Wednesday to decide whether to free opposition leader Keiko Fujimori from pre-trial detention related to a corruption case linked to Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Fujimori, the daughter of disgraced and jailed former president Alberto Fujimori, was herself incarcerated on October 31 last year when she was ordered to be held in pre-trial detention for up to three years.

Fujimori is accused of accepting $1.2 million in illicit party funding from Odebrecht for her 2011 presidential campaign.

"Today we're asking for justice. We have only one aim: for Keiko Fujimori to be freed," said the 44-year-old politician's lawyer Giuliana Loza.

"We've never lost faith ... faith that this terrible nightmare will end," Loza said in her opening statement.

Prosecutors have accused a total of 11 people linked to Fujimori's Popular Force party of running a criminal organization in order to raise funding for her 2011 campaign.

The Brazilian company has admitted paying at least $29 million in bribes to Peruvian officials since 2004.

Three former presidents are being investigated over Odebrecht while a fourth, Alan Garcia, committed suicide in April after police arrived at his house to arrest him for money laundering.

Now that Fujimori's hearing has begun, the Supreme Court has three weeks to come to a decision on whether to release her.