Peru's Supreme Court Thursday upheld a ruling ordering former President Pedro Castillo Terrones held under pre-trial detention for 18 months after he was arrested following his decision to dissolve Congress and rule by decree, which led to his impeachment.
The decision meant a rejection of the appeal filed by Castillo's legal team, which was deemed unsubstantiated. The Supreme Court banned former Prime Minister Aníbal Torres from leaving the country for 18 months.
”Permanent Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court ratifies resolution that ordered 18 months of preventive imprisonment against former president Pedro Castillo, investigated for the crime of rebellion (alternatively, conspiracy to rebellion) to the detriment of the State, said the Judiciary in a message published on Twitter.
The Supreme Court thus upheld Justice Juan Carlos Checkley's decision after finding Castillo's actions had resulted in founded elements of conviction of the alleged commission of the crimes of rebellion, conspiracy, abuse of authority, and serious disturbance of the public tranquility.
Castillo's lawyer Wilfredo Robles argued that the Prosecutor's Office was showing an eagerness to accumulate crimes against the former head of state and claimed there were no grounds to keep the indigenous teacher from Chota in jail. Robles insisted Castillo did not call to rise up in arms during the message he gave on December 7, and also said that the former president needed to resume his rural school job, thus posing no flight risk.
Castillo also participated in Wednesday's hearing and said his detention stemmed from political revenge. I have never committed a crime of rebellion. I have not taken up arms and neither have I called anyone to take up arms, but I must say that the one who took up arms to end the lives of more than 30 Peruvians is the current government,” said Castillo regarding the 28 people killed in protests nationwide following his toppling.
Deputy Supreme Prosecutor Silvia Sack Ramos explained that the Public Prosecutor's Office requested Castillo's incarceration due to the seriousness of the crimes and the possibility that he might leave the country. The government of Mexican President Adrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has already offered political asylum to Castillo, whose family has already taken the option. Judge Checkley had already highlighted Castillo's intention to go to the Mexican embassy in Lima at the time of his arrest.