Peru's two-time ex-president shoots himself in the neck during bribery arrest

In this file image former Peruvian president Alan Garcia speaks to the media as he arrives at the National Prosecution office in Lima Peru in March 2018

One unnamed supporter described the case against Mr Garcia as "political persecution".

"This morning there was a regrettable accident: the president took the decision to shoot himself", Erasmo Reyna, Garcia's lawyer, told reporters outside the hospital.

Garcia was under investigation for bribes allegedly paid during the construction of Lima's metro during his 2006-2011 government.

Alan Garcia, a former president of Peru suspected in a continent-wide corruption scandal, has died after shooting himself in the head on Wednesday (April 17) as police closed in, according to reports.

Corruption cases have reached the highest levels in Peru politics, most notably involving officials and Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction giant that has admitted to spreading some $800 million U.S. in bribes to officials across Latin America, including $29 million in Peru.

"He is in a critical condition", said Peru's health ministry.

Alan Garcia, 69, was supposed to face questioning for alleged money laundering but has been rushed to Casimiro Ulloa hospital in Lima after putting a bullet in his skull.

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Garcia, who served two terms as president of Peru, is under investigation for bribery.

In November he sought refuge in the Uruguayan Embassy and applied for asylum but he left the next month after it was denied.

Mr Garcia has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

Amid pressure from anti-corruption investigative agencies, the firm has on several occasions admitted to paying bribes in a staggering number of Latin American countries.

Former Peruvian President Alan Garcia gestures as he speaks upon his arrival at the military airport in Buenos Aires on September 30, 2010.

Toledo, 73, is now in the United States.

Prosecutors said they believed the former president received more than $100,000 from Odebrecht, disguised as a payment to speak at a conference in Brazil. He said that actions leading up to Garcia's arrest appeared to have been carried out irregularly.

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