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Peru: Case against Castillo reopened despite immunity

Peru: Case against Castillo reopened despite immunity

Saturday, July 23rd 2022 – 10:28 UTC


Castillo insisted no evidence had been found against him, although many of his aides and relatives were proven to be involved in illegal activities

Peruvian judiciary authorities have launched the fifth active inquest into President Pedro Castillo Terrones’ alleged involvement in acts of corruption, it was announced Friday in Lima, after Prosecutor Patricia Benavides reopened the case once opened by Zoraida Ávalos on the purchase of biodiesel from Heaven Petroleum.

Benavides reopened a preliminary investigation against Castillo for crimes against public administration and influence peddling, which brings up to five the number of cases involving the head of state.

“The Public Prosecutor of the Nation decided to leave without effect the provision N° 1 of January 4, 2022, that suspended the initiation of acts of preliminary investigation to the president of the Republic, Pedro Castillo, until the culmination of his presidential mandate,” the Public Prosecutor’s Office posted on Twitter.

The original investigation had been open and halted by then-Attorney General Zoraida Avalos but shelved it Jan. 4 citing presidential immunity.

Castillo allegedly met with lobbyist Karelim López and businessman Samir Abudayeh, whose company Heaven Petroleum won a bid for the state-run oil company Petroperú to sell biodiesel. Zamir Villaverde, a businessman involved in the deal who was seeking to join a witness protection program, accused Castillo of allegedly receiving S/ 2 million (510,000 US dollars).

Villaverde assured the money was delivered to former Presidential Secretary Bruno Pacheco, who is at large after being forced to resign due to his involvement in several corruption scandals.

Four of the five cases against Castillo are linked to deeds under his rule as President of Peru. In the fifth case, he has been accused of plagiarizing his master’s thesis.

Castillo insisted Friday that no evidence had been found against him and called on Peruvians not to be distracted by fake news, because “we have come to work for the country.”

The former school teacher who will celebrate his first year in office on July 28, called on lawmakers to “once and for all” stop this “useless confrontation which does not do good to the country.”

According to Castillo, his administration “is not going to interfere … because we must be respectful” of the separate roles among branches of government.

Earlier this week, the Attorney General had announced the fourth case against Castillo, in which former Interior Minister Mariano González accused him of obstruction of Justice.




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