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Prosecutors question Peru's President in scandalous military promotions case

Wednesday, December 29th 2021 - 09:37 UTC
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Castillo did favor the promotion of a military officer but claimed there was nothing irregular about it Castillo did favor the promotion of a military officer but claimed there was nothing irregular about it

Peru's President Pedro Castillo Terrones was questioned Tuesday by Prosecutors regarding his alleged involvement in the unlawful promotion of Army and Air Force officers, a scandal which has already led to the resignation of former presidential aide Bruno Pacheco and Defense Minister Walter Ayala.

Castillo said he had a clear conscience regarding the scandal. “We stand up, we do not flee the country, much less take refuge in an embassy; we have a clear conscience, we act following the law and the commitments assumed with the people,” the head of state wrote on his Twitter account.

“Fulfilling my constitutional duty, I received representatives of the @FiscaliaPeru at the Government Palace, to whom I answered, as a witness, all the questions about the promotions [within] the Armed Forces...,” Castillo elaborated through his @PedroCastilloTe account.

Castillo and representatives of the Prosecutor's Office gathered for five hours at Lima's Government House. After that, Castillo's lawyer, Eduardo Pachas, told reporters that the president answered more than 40 questions, including two from State Attorney General Daniel Soria, who had charged Castillo with influence peddling in a separate case related to a tender for the construction of a bridge.

Soria said Castillo himself had answered all the questions and that the procedure went smoothly. Attorney General Zoraida Ávalos could not attend the meeting after being hospitalized for a medical emergency and Deputy Attorney General Ramiro González conducted the interview.

It is the first time Castillo has appeared as president before a prosecutor, who questioned him regarding his alleged involvement in the scandal whereby Government officials allegedly exerted some pressure on military chiefs to favor the promotion of officers presumable loyal to the Castillo administration. The controversy resulted in Generals José Vizcarra (Army) and Jorge Chaparro (Air Force - FAP) being forced into retirement barely three months after their appointments. Both Generals maintained their dismissals were due to their reluctance to follow the “recommendations of Ayala and Pacheco regarding the promotion to the rank of Colonel of a certain Víctor Torres.

Castillo Tuesday acknowledged he had indeed favored Torres' promotion but then explained to the prosecutors ”the context in which it all occurred,” while he denied any wrongdoing such as the alleged intention of making an irregular appointment, the president's lawyer admitted. The attorney insisted Castillo had already asked the Prosecutor's Office to lift the secrecy of all his communications, bank accounts, and tax returns.

Pacheco's texting records would put him in a completely different, fuzzy situation.


Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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  • imoyaro

    That's one approach to staying in power ; keep your officers happy! At least until they use their new power to oust you...

    Dec 29th, 2021 - 07:46 pm 0
  • Brasileiro

    Equipping the State is a function of those who govern. If there are capable people, they must obtain high positions in all areas of public administration.

    The president's mandate belongs to the people. Appointing people ideologically linked is to provide the good management that the people granted.

    Dec 30th, 2021 - 01:59 pm 0
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