Peru prosecutors seek 35-year jail term for ex-president

·2-min read
Former Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018), seen here in an April 2019 photo
Former Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018), seen here in an April 2019 photo

Prosecutors in Peru on Friday requested that former president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski be sentenced to 35 years in prison on charges of corruption related to the massive Odebrecht scandal.

Kuczynski, 84, is accused of money laundering and forming a criminal organization that allegedly received $12 million from Brazil construction giant Odebrecht for secret consultancies.

Odebrecht, which has since changed its name to Novonor, admitted to paying hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes throughout Latin America to secure huge public works contracts.

Kuczynski allegedly used his financial advisory companies to collude with Odebrecht.

"He is totally calm, he is confident the situation will be resolved and that no one can link him to any acts of corruption," the former president's lawyer Julio Mindolo told RPP radio station.

Authorities have been investigating the case against Kuczynski for five years. After spending three years under house arrest he was granted conditional release in April 2022.

Mindolo denied that former president Alejandro Toledo incriminated his client in testimony he gave to a court earlier in the week.

Toledo, who was president from 2001-06, is being held in pre-trial detention following his extradition from the US last month and faces corruption charges related to the Odebrecht scandal.

Before Kuczynski became president in 2016, he had been a minister in Toledo's government.

In 2018 he became the first Latin American president to resign over alleged connections to the Odebrecht scandal.

Another two former Peru presidents, Ollanta Humala (2011-2016) and Alan Garcia (2006-2011), have also been accused of corruption related to the Odebrecht case.

Humala's trial began in February while Garcia committed suicide in April 2019 as police arrived at his house to arrest him.