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article imageKeiko Fujimori refuses to speak to corruption prosecutor

By AFP     Mar 18, 2019 in World

Jailed opposition leader Keiko Fujimori refused to speak to Peru's public prosecutor on Monday as part of a corruption case linked to Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Prosecutor Jose Domingo Perez wanted to interview the Popular Force leader over allegations of unlawful campaign financing ahead of the 2011 and 2016 elections.

"She expressed her will to remain silent during the session. It's her right to stay silent or abstain from speaking and that must be respected," said Perez after leaving the women's prison where Fujimori has been held since October 31. She was ordered to be held in pre-trial detention for up to three years.

Perez needed a police cordon to help him leave the prison as he came under attack from Fujimori's supporters.

Water bottles and other objects were thrown by Fujimori's supporters, who chanted: "Keiko, you're not alone, your people are here."

Fujimori, the daughter of disgraced former president Alberto Fujimori -- himself jailed for human rights abuses -- accused Perez of lacking impartiality.

"After living through abuses and excesses, as a result of the lack of justice, I decided to take advantage of my right to silence before a public prosecutor who, in my case, has lost all sight of objectivity," Fujimori wrote on Twitter.

Fujimori's lawyer, Giulliana Loza said the silence was nothing more than her client exercising a right.

Fujimori is accused of accepting $1.2 million in illicit party funding from Odebrecht for her 2011 presidential campaign.

Prosecutors have accused a total of 11 people linked to Fujimori's Popular Force party of running "a criminal organization" in order to raise illicit funding for her 2011 campaign.

The Brazilian company has admitted paying at least $29 million in bribes to Peruvian officials since 2004.

Four former presidents are under investigation in relation to the multi-million dollar region-wide Odebrecht corruption scandal.

Fujimori's incarceration has seriously damaged her prospects of standing in the 2021 presidential elections.

Her father, president from 1990-2000, is serving a 25-year sentence for crimes against humanity and corruption.

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