Congress of Peru opens way to prolong the prison of former president

The Peruvian Prosecutor’s Office is empowered to request up to 36 months of preventive detention for former President Pedro Castillo, after Congress decided to deprive him of his immunity as as such.

The decision was approved amid protests from the progressive benches, who consider unfair, the agreement of having the presidency of the Congress prepare a draft resolution to lift the pre-trial requirement necessary to investigate and try Castillo.

The agreement was approved with 64 votes in favor, 35 against and one abstention, after severe legal and political questions to a communication from prosecutor Patricia Benavides, who informed Parliament that the investigation into Castillo and three of his former ministers must continue.

For this matter, it is necessary that Castillo and the former prime ministers Betssy Chávez and Aníbal Torres and former Minister of the Interior Willy Huerta lose their immunity – which has an extension of five years after they have left the administration.

The Prosecutor’s Office is investigating Castillo for the crimes of Rebellion and conspiracy, abuse of authority and public disturbance for announcing the dissolution of Congress, which caused his removal from presidency. His former collaborators Chavez, Torres and Huerta are accused of co-authoring some of these alleged crimes.

Left-wing parliamentarians proposed not to vote for a simple document that does not ask for or propose anything, because it only suggests “guaranteeing fundamental rights and the purpose of the criminal process,” since Castillo’s preliminary prison, which has lasted seven days, is about to end.

The issue raised is a tacit suggestion for the plenary to authorize the Prosecutor’s Office to advance to the preparatory investigation, a phase in which it can request preventive detention for those investigated for up to three years.

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