The Attorney General of Peru, Patricia Benavides, accused this Wednesday the National Board of Justice (JNJ, the highest governing body of the judiciary) of violating her right to defense and he refused to testify in the process that that entity has opened against him as a result of the investigation into his entourage for allegedly forming an alleged influence peddling network.
“You have instituted a type of procedure that I consider violates my right to defense and the right to due process, for which I have filed several mechanisms for which I have not received any response to this day.”Benavides said in a JNJ hearing in which his possible suspension as prosecutor of the Nation (general) was going to be evaluated.
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On November 28, the JNJ opened an immediate disciplinary process against Benavideswhich the agency only initiates when “there is sufficient evidence of notoriously irregular conduct” by the judicial authorities.
Benavides assured, before abruptly leaving the JNJ hearing, that he has always “respected the constitutional and legal channels,” but that he has always exercised his “right to defense, like any Peruvian citizen.”
“I submit to any type of investigation in which my constitutional and fundamental rights are respected,” he stated. His defense lawyer, Jorge Del Castillo, took the floor to ensure that “many democrats” protest against this classification of the JNJ as a summary process.
“It turns out that we have presented two appeals, one for annulment, because the regulatory provisions they are using are unconstitutional, because they go beyond the framework of the law” and an appeal for inhibitionhe highlighted before pointing out that “the session cannot be held if these resources are not resolved.”
(Keep reading: Why will Alberto Fujimori be released from prison? Keys to the judicial decision in Peru).
The JNJ magistrate informed him that the appeal for inhibition had already been resolved and notified in the morning, to which Del Castillo replied that this “is not very regular” and reported that he was leaving the courtroom.
The Special Team of Prosecutors Against Corruption of Power (Eficcop) and the Investigation Division of Highly Complex Crimes (Diviac) of the National Police (PNP) opened an investigation into Benavides’s entourage for forming a network dedicated to influence peddling that was allegedly led by the National Prosecutor.
Supposedly, this network coordinated with congressmen to achieve the disqualification of former attorney general Zoraida Ávalos, the election of Josué Gutiérrez as ombudsman and the removal of the members of the JNJ.
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Nevertheless, Benavides is not formally accused or investigated, as she is protected by a special jurisdiction. that gives him his position and that he could lose if the JNJ dismisses him.
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