Peru's President Pedro Castillo is once again under the spotlight after the Attorney General said his Office was already investigating press allegations that businesswoman Karelim López had paid the head of state offered to help the Puente Tarata III consortium win the tender for a work.
”The State's Attorney General, Daniel Soria Luján, presented a letter to the Attorney General of the Nation (Zoraida Ávalos) in which he denounces the President of the Republic, José Pedro Castillo Terrones, for the alleged commission of the crimes of illegal patronage and influence peddling said the Attorney General's Office in a statement.
Various meetings between Castillo and López were held, during which the head of state allegedly committed the acts of corruption for which he is now under investigation.
Soria points out a series of events which lead him to believe in the existence of a case of influence peddling, which is currently being investigated by the Second Office of the Second Provincial Corporate Prosecutor's Office in Lima.
The Attorney General's Office requested information on these meetings from the secretary general of the presidential office, who reported on two occasions that he had no record of them.
Soria also asked Ávalos not to suspend the investigation once it is opened, since Article 117 of the Constitution does not prohibit a president from being investigated.
Cabinet Chief Mirtha Vásquez said the investigations will not be hindered. We respect the institutions that are investigating and, of course, we are willing to cooperate, she said during a press conference. Vásquez added that beyond speculations the matter was in the hands of the authorities.”
Karelim López is believed to have made money deliveries to Castillo through former presidential secretary Bruno Pacheco, according to press reports, and was now seeking to enter some protection program to help investigators but her lawyer César Nakazaki said that was never her intention since there was no crime to admit to.
On the 7th of this month, a motion to remove Castillo failed to garner the number of votes needed for the step to be taken.
Pacheco has resigned from his office for his alleged involvement in other cases of influence peddling.