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Peru’s president questioned for alleged power abuse in graft case

Peru's President Dina Boluarte stands accused of corruption for allegedly receiving bribes in the form of luxury watches
Peru's President Dina Boluarte stands accused of corruption for allegedly receiving bribes in the form of luxury watches - Copyright AFP MANDEL NGAN
Peru's President Dina Boluarte stands accused of corruption for allegedly receiving bribes in the form of luxury watches - Copyright AFP MANDEL NGAN

Peruvian President Dina Boluarte was questioned by prosecutors Tuesday over the shuttering of a police unit that had searched her house in a corruption case.

The interview, which lasted for about three hours, was the latest in a growing list of investigations into Boluarte, who already stands accused of accepting bribes in the form of Rolex watches.

In the latest matter, she is being investigated for alleged abuse of authority for allegedly targeting the police unit that searched her house for evidence in the Rolex case.

Boluarte’s lawyer Juan Carlos Portugal said his client had “answered absolutely everything, even though many questions from the Public Prosecutor’s Office were highly tricky and suggestive.”

On Monday, Attorney General Juan Carlos Villena brought an official complaint against the president “as the suspected author of passive corruption.”

That allegation stems from a trove of undeclared luxury watches and jewelry found in her possession in March.

Boluarte told prosecutors last month the Rolexes had been loaned to her by a friend.

The attorney general’s accusation, presented to Congress, does not amount to an indictment because the president has immunity while in office.

Peru suffers from chronic political instability and has had six presidents in the past eight years.

Boluarte took office in December 2022, replacing left-wing president Pedro Castillo, who was impeached and imprisoned for unsuccessfully trying to dissolve Congress. 

She had been his vice-president.

In 2023, prosecutors opened an investigation in which she stands accused of “genocide, homicide and serious injuries,” for the deaths of more than 50 protesters during a crackdown on demonstrations demanding she resign and call fresh elections.

AFP
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