Peru Congress moves to allow corruption charge of ex-President Castillo
LIMA, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Peru's Congress passed a constitutional complaint on Friday against ousted former President Pedro Castillo for alleged corruption, a step towards a formal judicial charge.
Castillo has been held in pre-trial detention in Lima since his abrupt Dec. 7 ouster and arrest after he tried to illegally shutter Congress to avoid impeachment over the corruption accusations, which he denies.
The political storm has sparked Peru's worst unrest in decades. Dozens of people have been killed in violent clashes between protesters and police, as well as traffic accidents and other issues related to road blockades that have followed.
Friday's complaint allows Attorney General Patricia Benavides to formally accuse Castillo before Peru's judiciary.
During the congressional debate, Castillo, via his lawyer Eduardo Pachas, declined to present a defense, saying that he wanted to participate in person. Pachas only reiterated Castillo's denial of corruption and denial of the charge that he belonged to a criminal organization.
Congress also approved complaints against two former Castillo ministers accused of involvement in bribery related to the construction of a bridge and in the purchase of fuel for state-owned oil company Petroperu (PETROBC1.LM).
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.