Peruvian Congress approves indictment of former president Castillo on corruption charges

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The Peruvian Congress approved the constitutional accusation against former President Pedro Castillo (2021-2022) and two former ministers for the alleged crimes of a criminal organization, influence peddling, and collusion yesterday, Friday.

After more than four hours of debate, the Congress decided to approve the final report of the accusation against the former president with 59 votes in favor, 23 against, and three abstentions, which will allow the Attorney General, Patricia Benavides, to formalize the investigation and initiate criminal proceedings against Castillo.

The approved text is based on the constitutional complaint filed by Benavides in October 2022, which includes alleged irregularities found in the works of the Tarata II Bridge in the region of San Martin (north) and other acts of corruption.

In this sense, Castillo is recommended to be charged with crimes against public tranquility, in the modality of aggravated criminal organization, due to his alleged condition of leader, and against public administration, in the modality of aggravated influence peddling.

Peruvian Congress. (Photo internet reproduction)
Peruvian Congress. (Photo internet reproduction)

Also, for being an alleged accomplice of the crime against public administration, in the modality of collusion to the detriment of the State.

In the same session, the final reports recommending the indictment of the former Ministers of Transportation and Communications, Juan Silva, Housing, Construction and Sanitation, and Geiner Alvarado, for alleged criminal organization were also voted and approved.

The reports were presented before the Plenary by the president of the legislative Sub-Commission of Constitutional Accusations, Lady Camones, and by congressman Diego Bazán from the right-wing Avanza País party.

The constitutional accusation presented by Benavides argues that the Prosecutor’s Office has “more than 190 evidential elements” that would support the thesis that Castillo was the alleged leader of a criminal organization during his government.

During the session, Pedro Castillo’s lawyer, Eduardo Pachas, participated virtually, requesting that the accusation against the former president is filed and that he exercise his defense before the Plenary in person.

The former president is in preventive detention for 18 months in the Barbadillo prison in Lima.

He is being investigated for alleged “rebellion” after attempting to dissolve the Congress without constitutional basis last December 7.

This Friday, Prime Minister, Alberto Otárola, urged the Congress and the Prosecutor’s Office to speed up the constitutional complaint against Castillo after warning in an interview with the private Radio Programas del Perú that the president would intend to go to the international jurisdiction to request “his freedom and his reinstatement as president”.

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