Pedro Castillo testifies before the prosecutor for three investigations

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo said Monday that he appeared before the office of Attorney General Patricia Benavides to be questioned about three of the six preliminary investigations that are pending against him, in most of which he is accused of directing a network of alleged corruption.

In a statement to the press from the government palace, where no questions were allowed, Castillo assured that he will continue to collaborate with the justice system. “We have denied the accusations … we are going to continue to show our faces and tell the country that we are firm to lead the destiny of Peru,” he said.

His lawyer Benji Espinoza pointed out that Castillo is “completely innocent of all the charges falsely attributed to him.”

An investigation is for alleged influence peddling in the purchase of biodiesel for 74 million dollars. The prosecution has indicated that there is a suspicion that he awarded a contract irregularly because the president met in October at the Government Palace with a local businessman who four days later was favored with the direct award.

In the other investigation, the alleged crimes of criminal organization and cover-up are attributed to him and it is related to the dismissal in July of the former Minister of the Interior of Castillo, Mariano González. The former official told the prosecution that his departure occurred because the president did not like that he organized a police team to look for two fugitives close to Castillo himself: one of his nephews, Fray Vásquez, and the former Minister of Transportation, Juan Silva, still escapees. Both are investigated for the alleged crime of criminal organization.

The third investigation seeks to establish Castillo’s responsibility in the alleged crime against public tranquility in its form of criminal organization, as a result of the alleged group led by the president seeking to benefit from a series of public works tenders with money from the Ministry of Housing in your native province. The Prosecutor’s Office analyzes whether a decree signed by Castillo to disburse more than eight million dollars was used by the alleged organization.

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Castillo asks the prosecution to exhaust the acts of investigation, to collect all the evidence so that at the time the president with all the information returns to testify, said the president’s lawyer.

The government official spent more than two hours at the prosecutor’s office where he arrived and later left in a car with escorts. A month ago, he also went to testify before the attorney general, but on that occasion he traveled on foot. The prosecutor’s office is four blocks from the presidential palace.

The president adds six preliminary tax investigations, most for the alleged crime of criminal organization and corruption, although he denies all the accusations.

The president cannot be accused before a judge because the Peruvian constitution says that this only happens in case of treason against the country, dissolution of parliament for cases other than those allowed or not calling elections. If arguments accumulate, the attorney general must wait until Castillo completes his term before Congress allows him to stand trial.

His relationship with Parliament is tense. The 130-seat Congress has sought to remove him twice, but has failed because he did not reach the necessary 87 votes.

In contrast to the tax investigations that exploded two months ago, the president’s plummeting popularity has begun to pick up. A national survey by the Institute of Peruvian Studies published on Sunday showed that his acceptance rose to 29%, while his disapproval fell to 63%, while 8% had no opinion. In June his approval rating was 19%.

Castillo’s government is scheduled to end on July 29, 2026.

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