By Sinan Dogan
BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) – A Supreme Court judge in Peru on Thursday ordered former President Pedro Castillo to serve seven days of preventive detention while an investigation is conducted against him for the alleged crime of rebellion after he dissolved Congress.
Judge Juan Carlos Checkley announced the preventive detention in a statement.
During a hearing earlier, Federal Prosecutor Marco Huaman said Castillo had sought asylum at the Mexican embassy in the capital Lima and there was the risk of “escape.”
Castillo's lawyer Victor Perez and former Prime Minister Anibal Torres, who attended the hearing online, argued that Castillo’s televised speech when he announced the dissolution of Congress “did not constitute the crime of rebellion.”
Castillo was transferred to a prison Wednesday night, capping off a dramatic day that saw him impeached for rebellion after his attempt to dissolve parliament.
He was arrested hours earlier after his televised speech in which he declared to the nation the dissolution of Congress, a last-ditch attempt to retain power as he faced an impeachment trial.
Castillo’s move was immediately condemned by political forces, including the party that brought him to power, Peru Libre (Free Peru), and a series of Cabinet resignations followed.
Lawmakers voted 101-6, with 10 abstentions, to remove Castillo, citing reasons of “permanent moral incapacity.”
Vice President Dina Boluarte was sworn-in as Peru’s new president, the first woman to hold the position in the country.
Boluarte also “rejected” Castillo’s decision to “perpetrate the breakdown of the constitutional order by closing the Congress,” while the nation’s ombudsman called the attempt to dissolve Congress a “coup.”
Following the chaos generated by Castillo’s statement, local media reported that the president had gone to the Mexican embassy in Lima to request asylum.
A video circulating on social media showed how police intercepted his car and took him into custody.