Peru's President Says He Never Received Money From Odebrecht
(Bloomberg) -- Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski categorically denied a newspaper report published earlier Tuesday alleging that Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht SA hired him as a consultant and financed his presidential campaigns.
“I never received any contribution from Odebrecht for my 2011 and 2016 election campaigns. Nor have I had professional links with Odebrecht,” the president said via Twitter. “I’m absolutely sure of my acts. Let’s leave our prosecution and judicial authorities to work with autonomy independence and free from political pressures.”
Peruvian prosecutors traveled to Curitiba, Brazil last week to question the firm’s former chief executive officer, Marcelo Odebrecht, who’s serving a jail sentence for his role in a vast bribery scandal. He told prosecutors the company hired Kuczynski as a consultant after he left government in 2006 and also gave money to the campaigns of all the leading candidates in Peru’s 2011 presidential race, Lima-based El Comercio reported Tuesday. Lima-based IDL-Reporteros also published excerpts from the interrogation.
Kuczynski served as finance minister to President Alejandro Toledo, who’s wanted by Peruvian authorities on allegations of taking a bribe from Odebrecht in exchange for a highway contract. Toledo, who lives in the U.S., denies wrongdoing, while Peru’s government is seeking his extradition.
Earlier this year Kuczynski said Odebrecht will have to sell its infrastructure projects in the Andean nation and can no longer do business with the government after admitting to bribing public officials.
Odebrecht’s Peruvian unit said in an emailed response to questions from Bloomberg News that there is a confidentiality agreement as part of cooperation pact between the Attorney General’s offices in Peru and Brazil that seeks to protect the investigations underway.
Odebrecht recognizes its errors and is committed to fighting corruption in all its forms, the company said.
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