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Explosive statements focus public attention in Peru

Lima, February 12 (Prensa Latina) The statements of former advisor of the suspended National Prosecutor's Office continued today in the center of attention of Peruvians, in addition to motivating political exploitation of those who feel favored in the media and politically.

The use for political and judicial purposes of the statements of Jaime Villanueva, former advisor to the suspended prosecutor Patricia Benavides, was pointed out by political analyst Juan de la Puente, lawyer Carlos Rivera and former state attorney Antonio Maldonado.

Villanueva’s statements touch a range of politicians ranging from the clandestine opponent Vladimir Cerrón to President Dina Boluarte and point, among other objectives, to prosecutors José Pérez and Rafael Vela, the latter suspended by the questioned Benavides.

The deponent maintains that Vela tried to intercede on behalf of the then president Pedro Castillo – dismissed in December 2023 – so that the ruler would not be accused by the Prosecutor’s Office, an alleged recommendation that had no effect.

He also states that the National Prosecutor, to facilitate the change of Castillo and the succession that fell to Boluarte, annulled an accusation of money laundering with electoral funds from Castillo’s campaign.

For the leader of the neoliberal party Fuerza Popular (FP), Keiko Fujimori, the accusations of the former advisor who became a witness for the prosecution in the Benavides investigation should motivate the withdrawal and even the annulment of the process against him.

Former attorney Antonio Maldonado accused Fujimori of “opportunistic exploitation” by arguing that the well-known journalist Gustavo Gorriti, according to Villanueva, “managed” the actions of prosecutors against him, as Villanueva claims.

He pointed out that 12 of the 23 pages that fill the solid statements of the former advisor contain his testimony of efforts by the leadership of the Fujimori party Fuerza Popular (FP) to dismiss the members of the National Board of Justice (JNJ), which appoints and dismisses judges and prosecutors.

In a television interview, FP’s interlocutor before prosecutor Benavides, Congresswoman Martha Moyano, admitted that she sent the message to Benavides through Villanueva.

Maldonado pointed out that the references to Fujimori and his party have been confirmed, while what he says in the rest of the testimony are statements attributed to third parties and personal opinions, which have no judicial value.

De la Puente pointed out that situations like this taint processes and the conservative-majority Congress has also done so, which in the first case warrants a reform of the Public Ministry and an investigation of what happened in Parliament.

Meanwhile, prosecutors Pérez and Vela, in charge of other cases of important politicians investigated or put on trial for corruption, are being investigated by the JNJ, whose members are opposed to Fujimorism.

ef/ro/mrs

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