Opposition deputies on Wednesday presented a political accusation against Chilean President Sebastián Piñera for lacking probity and compromising the honor of the nation for his alleged connection with the sale of a family property to promote a mining project.
The impeachment or constitutional accusation is based on the revelations of the so-called Pandora Papers, which at the beginning of the month revealed businesses of authorities and millionaires in tax havens.
The impeachment was introduced in the Chamber of Deputies, which bypassed the five members of a review commission that will analyze and make recommendations to the chamber, which do not necessarily have to be accepted by the plenary session. After being notified Piñera will have 10 days to respond to the group.
The initiative seeks to clarify the role of the president in the sale to a businessman friend of the Dominga mining and port project, signed in December 2010 nine months after starting his second presidential term.
Two ministers criticized the start of the trial. Presidential spokesman Jaime Bellolio affirmed that “it is a blow that democracy cannot accept in the face of an accusation that is based on facts that are not true”, at a time when the electoral campaign for the presidential and legislative elections of 22 February is taking place. November. The Minister of the Presidency, Juan José Ossa, added that it is “not very serious legal work.”
The accusation joins the criminal investigation initiated last week by the National Prosecutor’s Office against the president for alleged tax crimes, bribery and bribery for the sale of Dominga, which conditioned the payment of the last of three installments for 10 million dollars to the fact that “There were no changes in the environmental regulations that would hinder the development of the project,” said the director of the Anti-Corruption Unit of the Prosecutor’s Office, Marta Herrera.
In August 2010 Piñera announced the relocation of an already authorized coal-fired thermoelectric plant. He explained that he achieved the change after talking with the owners and that he did it to move her away from the Pingüino de Humboldt National Reserve, in northern Chile. At the time it was unknown that his family was about to sign the sale of Dominga.
DETAILS Known business.
Piñera alleges in his defense that the sale “was neither consulted nor informed” and that everything about Dominga’s business was known during a 2017 judicial investigation that dismissed him of alleged crimes for the purchase of a Peruvian fishing vessel by one of the their companies.
For the impeachment to be approved in the 155-member Chamber of Deputies, at least 78 votes are needed and the opposition has 83. Two-thirds of the 43 legislators are required in the Senate (29).