The recently-elected president of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has been summoned by the country's anti-corruption body to defend himself in the Brazilian corruption case known as Operation Car Wash.
When he was leading the Ministers' Council under former President Alejandro Toledo, Kuczynski promulgated a bill that favored Brazilian firm Odebrecht for the construction project of the Interoceanic Highway between Brazil and Peru. This, in spite of the fact that the treasury inspector's office had warned that the company was not allowed to participate in the project.
Operation Car Wash is one of Brazil's largest corruption scandals. The scheme consisted of companies bribing senior Petrobras officials and other public offices to get “overbilled” contracts with the state oil company.
Dozens of senior executives of construction companies have already been detained for their alleged involvement in the scandal between 2004 and 2012. The diverted money amounts to some US$8 billion.
The hearing is scheduled for Friday, June 24 before the Second Anti-Corruption Attorney General's office in Lima, where the case is being investigated.
The president said that he will ask judicial authorities to postpone the date, as he was due to travel to the southern city of Cuzco to participate in an official event with governors of the Peruvian region.
On June 7, Peru's electoral board declared 77-year-old Kuczynski the country's next president after he edged out challenger Keiko Fujimori by .24 percent.
Kuczynski has a long history of promoting neoliberal economic policies that benefit corporations while serving in public office.