The Office of the Prosecutor of the Nation incorporates the Chief of the Cabinet and the Minister of Justice in investigation for alleged cover-up and criminal organization. The president “reserved his statement” before questions from the Public Ministry.
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Pedro Castillo and Aníbal Torres will be investigated for alleged cover-up and criminal organization. Meanwhile, Benji Espinoza defended that the president has “reserved” his answers. Photo: Presidency/
The prosecutor of the Nation, Patricia Benavides, ordered to include the current president of the Council of Ministers, Aníbal Torres, and the head of Justice, Félix Chero, in the investigation for alleged criminal organization and ongoing personal cover-up against President Pedro Castillo.
According to the provisions of the prosecution –to which El Comercio agreed–, Torres was included based on the statements of Karelim López about an alleged offer of his to facilitate a departure from the country for Bruno Pacheco, former secretary general of the Presidency who today is collaborator of the prosecution in the cases surrounding the president.
Added to this is the minister's admission that he did meet, in November 2021 -aboard a vehicle-, with Pacheco.
La Fiscal de la Nación dispuso incluir al presidente del Consejo de Ministros, Aníbal Torres, en su condición de exministro de Justicia, y al actual titular de esa cartera, Félix Chero, en la investigación preliminar por el delito de Organización Criminal. pic.twitter.com/uoHJuzPd9B
— Ministerio Público (@FiscaliaPeru) September 5, 2022
In the case of Chero, the statement of an effective collaborator was taken into account, who said that an INPE worker approached Zamir Villaverde on April 27, when he was in prison for the Puente Tarata Case, indicating that he had come from Minister Chero. . That day, Villaverde had been removed from his cell to join a session of the Congressional Oversight Commission.
According to the testimony, the man He handed him a phone number and told him that if he called, “the minister's assistant would answer him.” Edgar Vargas and Víctor Valdivia, two other detainees in this case, also stated that that day they saw Villaverde talking to a man who they presume was from INPE.
According to the prosecutor's thesis, this INPE staff member, José Gómez, sought to fulfill the order of giving Chero's number to Villaverde so that he could communicate to this internal “the message of the organization; that is, not to reveal information about its existence, which was entrenched in the Executive Power.”
A fin de aclarar esta imputación, expreso mi disposición de concurrir a todos los actos y citaciones que se dispongan, a pesar que dicha investigación carece de sustento jurídico y probatorio.
— Felix Chero Medina (@FelixCheroM) September 5, 2022
For the Public Ministry, these facts indicate that President Castillo leads a criminal network whose operators would be Ministers Torres and Chero, former Deputy Secretary of the Government Palace Beder Camacho , and former adviser Eder Vitón.
Chero responded the same Monday via Twitter: “I categorically deny being related to any illegal act or corruption.” He added that he is willing to “attend all acts and subpoenas that are available, despite the fact that said investigation lacks support.” At the closing of this article, Torres had not commented on the matter.
He did not respond
Pedro Castillo went to the National Prosecutor's Office this Monday morning for his summons to testify as being investigated for the Petro-Peru Case, the Anguía Case and the case of the alleged cover-up.
Presidente Pedro Castillo acude a citación de la fiscalía Nación por dos de las 6 investigaciones en su contra. Así fue el ingreso del mandatario a la sede del Ministerio Público. Lo acompaña su abogado Eduardo Pachas.
► https://t.co/bxCCbrvTeI pic.twitter.com/4hCY6lxuHp
— Política El Comercio (@Politica_ECpe) September 5, 2022
According to sources of El Comercio, Castillo remained silent before most of the questions from the prosecution. Thus, the diligence for the three cases only lasted approximately two and a half hours.
Back at the Government Palace, the president said that he rejected all the accusations and that he will continue to attend the summonses that are made to him. But he also indicated that “once all these investigations are collected, we will continue to collaborate with the justice”.
Espinoza explained that, in the proceeding, Castillo initially “proclaimed his innocence” regarding the three investigations. But later, when questioned, “he denied the charges, but at the same time he said: 'When the prosecution gathers all the information, collects all the elements of conviction, I will come back and be able to give full and complete explanations'”.
Culminó la diligencia de Pedro Castillo ante la Fiscalía de la Nación. El presidente de retira de la sede central del Ministerio Público a bordo de un vehículo. La diligencia duró unas dos horas @Politica_ECpe pic.twitter.com/WiI6iioXZx
— Víctor Reyes Parra (@nekroRP) September 5, 2022
“Instead of giving partial declarations, they must be given comprehensively”, he added. Finishing all the acts of the preliminary investigation, as Castillo suggests, could take up to 36 months when dealing with cases of alleged organized crime.
The lawyer advanced that this will be the strategy for all investigations of the president.
And when asked if this meant that Castillo had availed himself of the right to keep silent, Espinoza referred to this strategy as “reserving a statement to testify later.”