Former Mexico President Pena Nieto investigated in corruption probe: report

FILE PHOTO: Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto attends a flag-raising ceremony honouring the victims of the September 1985 and 2017 earthquakes at Zocalo square in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican law enforcement authorities are investigating a former president, Enrique Pena Nieto, as part of an inquiry into corruption, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Pena Nieto has become embroiled in the investigation of Emilio Lozoya, the former chief executive of Mexico’s state oil firm Petróleos Mexicanos, or Pemex.

Lozoya is accused of corruption related to a wide-ranging bribery and money-laundering case involving Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht SA. Lozoya, who was arrested in Spain last week, has denied wrongdoing.

The Mexican attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pena Nieto, who completed a six-year term in 2018, could not immediately be reached for comment. He has previously denied receiving bribes from Odebrecht.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said he does not want to pursue former presidents in court, though he has suggested the possibility of holding a referendum on whether former presidents should face trial.

Lozoya’s detention was a major success for Lopez Obrador, a leftist who won power on an anti-graft platform and who has sought to paint former administration officials as members of a corrupt elite since taking office in December 2018.

Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom; Editing by Richard Chang