November 12, 2016 / 3:42 AM / 3 years ago

Peru prosecutors say can convict ex-president of money laundering

Peruvian President Ollanta Humala delivers his remarks during the opening ceremony of the Paris Agreement signing ceremony on climate change at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., April 22, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid - RTX2B7M1

LIMA (Reuters) - Peruvian prosecutors said they have evidence to convict ex-president Ollanta Humala of money laundering, accusing him of taking illicit funds from Venezuela and Brazilian construction companies, the attorney general’s office said Friday.

A judge granted prosecutors’ request to order Humala to deposit a 50,000 ($14,671) soles bail bond to ensure he appears in court and cooperates with the money laundering probe that started shortly after his five-year term ended in July.

Humala has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and has said he will cooperate fully with prosecutors.

Prosecutor German Juarez said he has “serious and founded elements for conviction” that includes documents and statements from witnesses and informants, the attorney general’s office said in a statement.

However, prosecutors have not yet pressed charges against Humala, a former military officer who was once an ally of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez before he campaigned as a more moderate leftist in his successful 2011 bid for the presidency.

Juarez said Humala took illicit funds from Venezuela and from the Brazilian construction companies Odebrecht and OAS to finance his 2006 and 2011 presidential bids, Juarez said.

Odebrecht, OAS and the government of Venezuela could not immediately be reached outside of regular working hours on Friday. All have previously denied any wrongdoing.

Humala’s attorney Cesar Espinoza said prosecutors failed to corroborate the testimony of informants and appealed the judge’s order, which requires Humala to appear in court every 30 days and to request permission if he wants to change his residence.

Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Michael Perry

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