President will testify to the parliamentary commission for Case Sarratea and others on June 27. His lawyer says that due process is not respected.
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The Head of State will only respond to the fourth summons made by the Oversight Commission for alleged illegal acts in his administration. (Photo: Presidency of the Republic)
The president Pedro Castillo agreed to answer before the Oversight Commission of the Congress for alleged illegal acts committed during his administration, but his lawyer, Benji Espinoza, questioned the objectivity of the investigation carried out by this parliamentary working group.< /p>
The Government Palace sent a letter last Monday to the head of the commission, Héctor Ventura, of Fuerza Popular, to inform him that Castillo will respond on any date after June 27, “for the sake of collaboration that must exist between the powers of the State and the principle of transparency.”
Immediately, the commission scheduled the taking of the statement for the same June 27th. That day, the head of state will respond under investigation.
Last week, that working group decided that the president would go from being a witness to being investigated. In addition, he has ruled out the option that he respond in writing to the interrogation. According to Espinoza, “a commission that acts like this does not act objectively.”.
“The question is whether the commission guarantees due process. […] Yesterday I heard the president of this commission say that he was ready to present his final report. So they won't listen to it, it's an appearance of due process”added the lawyer.
However, Ventura recalled, in dialogue with Successful, that his working group has asked the president to respond until three times.
The legislator added that there are sufficient elements to believe that the president is involved in illegal acts linked to alleged interference in promotions in the Armed Forces, the visits he received at the house on the Sarratea passage, in Breña, the tender for the Tarata III Bridge and others. cases.
Ventura added that they have statements from witnesses and investigators that point to the president. Among others, he mentioned that the commission received the testimonies of Karelim López and Zamir Villaverde.
Although Castillo agreed to testify, Palacio's memorandum affirms that the Oversight Commission does not have the power to investigate the president for alleged common or function crimes that have been committed during the exercise of their mandate.
The document mentions article 117 of the Constitution to argue that Castillo has immunity from all types of investigations and processes, both in Congress and in the prosecution.
Former congressional official César Delgado Guembes, an expert in constitutional and parliamentary law, recalled that there are opposing opinions on the legality or otherwise of investigating a sitting president.
“For me, the impediment that you have is regarding the accusation. The president cannot be impeached. […] But in the case of the investigative commissions there is no accusation. What they are doing is a process of inquiry. They want to scrutinize behaviors in which there could be some fault”, he said in dialogue with El Comercio.
Delgado Guembes assured that the equivalent The closest thing to the work carried out by a congressional investigative commission is that of the Public Ministry in the preliminary investigation phase.
1Oversight summoned Castillo for the first time last March
The Congressional Oversight Commission summoned President Pedro Castillo for the first time for the Sarratea Case on March 7, but he asked that they send him the questions to answer them written. At that time he had the status of a witness.
2The president said that he was willing to attend Congress
The commission urged the president to respond in person, through letters sent on March 7 and April 25. On May 28, Castillo said that the doors of the Palace were open to parliamentarians and that, if necessary, he would attend Congress.
3The head of state went from being a witness to being investigated
The commission changed Castillo's status from being a witness to being investigated after asking him three times to respond in person. Those who did come to testify were his nephew Fray Vásquez, now a fugitive; Prime Minister Aníbal Torres and others.