LIMA – Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski denied on Tuesday having received any money for his election campaigns or having any professional links with Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, according to a local press report.
“I never received any contribution from Odebrecht for my 2011 and 2016 election campaigns. Also, I have not had any professional link with Odebrecht,” said Kuczynski on his Twitter account.
The Peruvian Web site IDL Reporteros on Tuesday reported on the unofficial interrogation by Peruvian prosecutors last week in Brazil of businessman Marcelo Odebrecht, who allegedly said that Kuczynski was hired as an adviser by the construction firm after leaving the administration of Alejandro Toledo in 2006, and adding that he apparently received from the firm a contribution to his 2011 election campaign.
According to that report, during the questioning Odebrecht reiterated that his company contributed $500,000 to current opposition leader Keiko Fujimori’s presidential campaign and that the details were known by the firm’s former director in Peru, Jorge Barata.
After this, the businessman declared that he hired Kuczynski “to heal the wounds” because he had opposed the Interoceanic Highway – in which Odebrecht was heavily involved – during Toledo’s 2001-2006 administration, during which he served as economy minister and cabinet chief.
According to the reporting, Peruvian prosecutor Jose Domingo Perez asked Odebrecht if the firm supported Kuczynski’s 2011 campaign with money and the businessman said that he was certain that it had, although Barata – who is in jail in Brazil – knew the precise amounts.
Kuczynski, meanwhile, emphasized in another Twitter message that he is “absolutely certain” he acted properly and asked that Peru’s fiscal and judicial authorities be allowed to “work with automony, independence and free of political pressure,” adding that his administration is “committed to the fight against corruption.”
Peruvian judicial authorities are investigating the $29 million that Odebrecht said the firm provided to local officials between 2005 and 2014 to get business deals during the administrations of Toledo, Alan Garcia and Ollanta Humala.