The former Jewish first lady of Peru, Eliane Karp, has taken a flight from the US to Israel in an effort to avoid being extradited to Peru for a money laundering case.
The information was released on Wednesday during a press conference in Lima by Peruvian Prime Minister Alberto Otárola.
“Mrs. Eliane Karp has taken a flight to Israel using her Israeli passport,” he added. “The United States Department of Justice has informed the Peruvian embassy in the United States of this.”
Israel and Peru do not share an extradition agreement. Karp served as Peru’s first lady from 2001 to 2006.
She is an anthropologist who was raised by Jewish parents in France.
She met her husband, former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, at Stanford University.
Karp earned her bachelor’s degree at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem before earning her PhD from the Californian institution.
Toledo was returned to Lima from the United States in April, where he is currently incarcerated.
He is charged of receiving bribes worth tens of millions of dollars in exchange for public construction contracts.
Toledo claims there is no wrongdoing. In a second embezzlement case involving Karp, her mother, and others, Peruvian officials also moved to extradite Karp from the United States.
A Peruvian prosecutor learned in 2013 that Toledo’s offshore company Ecoteva Consulting Group was used to finance the pricey real estate mortgages for Karp’s mother, Eva Fernenburg.
At first, Toledo asserted that the funds from this business originated from reparations paid by Germany to Holocaust survivor Fernenburg.
Later, he claimed that Israeli entrepreneur Yossi Maiman was the source of the funds. The prosecution is requesting a sentence of 16 years and 8 months for both Toledo and Karp because they believe that the funds used to build Ecoteva were obtained through bribes.
A Californian judge ruled on April 20 that Karp’s passport must be returned. Karp was well-known as first lady for her fluency in Quechua, a Peruvian language used by the country’s indigenous people.