Peruvian Prez rejects audio recordings linking him to fraud

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra has rejected the validity of the audio recordings that allegedly links him to the misuse of government funds due to which impeachment proceedings have started against him.

Vizcarra might be removed from office if found guilty, reports Xinhua news agency.

During his presentation at the plenary session of Congress, the President on Friday urged legislators to debate his impeachment while keeping in mind that the country is in the midst of a health crisis.

One of the countries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Peru has so far reported the world’s fifth largest number of infections and the eighth biggest death toll, with 750,098 cases and 31,146 deaths respectively.

“Peru cannot come to a halt due to the content of some audios without any validity; the management of the pandemic and economic reactivation cannot be suspended,” Vizcarra said.

The impeachment proceedings are centred on Vizcarra’s relationship with a little-known singer Richard Cisneros and nearly $50,000 in questionable contracts that the latter was given by the Ministry of Culture.

The audios were recorded by the President’s former secretary Karem Roca.

Vizcarra said that it is up to the Peruvian justice system to clarify Roca’s motive for illegally recording him.

After the President left Congress, Vizcarra’s lawyer, Roberto Pereira, defended him before the plenary session, alleging that the impeachment proceedings were unfounded.

Last week, Peru’s regional governors voiced their support for the President, as well as major unions, former Presidents, and leaders of the country’s main political parties.

The 57-year-old President has denied any wrongdoing and accused Congress of a political coup.