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Judge: Toledo Must Take DNA Test

June 28, 2002

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LIMA, Peru (AP) _ A judge ruled Friday that President Alejandro Toledo must submit to a DNA test to determine if he is the father of a 14-year-old girl.

Carmen Kcomt, a judge in the northern city of Piura, said Toledo will have to provide a DNA sample on Aug. 7 in Lima, Peru’s capital

Kcomt made the ruling after Toledo missed a hearing Friday with the girl’s mother, Lucrecia Orozco.

Toledo’s lawyers had sought a delay in the hearing, arguing that the president had not been personally notified, the judge said. She said Toledo’s lawyers plan to appeal her ruling.

Toledo can avoid the DNA test by reaching a settlement before Aug. 7, Orozco told reporters.

Orozco maintains that Toledo, who took office last July, is the father of her daughter, Zarai.

The case had been decided in Peru’s courts several years ago, when it was ruled Toledo was not the father even though a blood test showed a 97 percent probability he was.

Orozco refiled the suit while Toledo was a presidential candidate. His campaign withstood Orozco’s allegations, with Toledo winning a run-off vote last June.

Arguing that the renewed court action was politically motivated, Toledo refused to take a DNA test during the campaign but said he would after the election if a judge ruled he should.

The president did not immediately comment Friday on Kcomt’s ruling.

Toledo’s approval ratings have sunk to almost 15 percent in the latest opinion polls as Peruvians stage frequent street protests to express frustration with a stalled economy and lack of jobs.

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