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Peru's President Says He Did 'Earn Some Money' from Scandal-Plagued Builder

  • VOA News

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski attends a ceremony at the Air Force base in Lima, Peru, Dec. 14, 2017.

Peru's president has acknowledged that he did "earn some money" from scandal-plagued Brazilian builder Odebrecht when his consulting business received payments from the builder more than 10 years ago

In a televised interview Sunday, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski characterized the payments as simply "dividends," the result of business and investments the company earned in a year. "There is nothing hidden here," he said.

Kuczynski, who is facing impeachment proceedings over alleged corruption, said during the interview that "it would have been much better," if he had known about the transactions. He did not, however, admit to any wrongdoing and did not reveal how much he profited from his company's dealings with Odebrecht.

Kuczynski has said he had no management duties in his consulting firm when it received nearly $800,000 from Odebrecht.

The president denied as recently as last month to having any links to Odebrecht.

National Congress President Luis Galarreta presides over a special session on whether to initiate impeachment proceeding against the country's president, in Lima, Peru, Dec. 15, 2017. Lawmakers went onto to approve impeachment proceedings against Preside
National Congress President Luis Galarreta presides over a special session on whether to initiate impeachment proceeding against the country's president, in Lima, Peru, Dec. 15, 2017. Lawmakers went onto to approve impeachment proceedings against Preside

Opposition lawmakers filed an impeachment motion against the president last week, saying he was morally unfit to lead the country after he resisted calls to resign over the alleged corruption.

Twenty-seven of 130 members of Peru’s Congress approved launching the process to oust the president during a special session on Friday.

Kuczynski vowed to fight on and not resign during a televised speech Thursday.

Odebrecht has shaken the politics across Latin America with its confession as part of a leniency deal last year that it gave kickbacks to officials in a dozen countries for more than a decade.

Peru’s opposition lawmakers control more than half of the seats in the country’s Congress, whose president, Luis Galarreta, said a vote on impeachment could take place this week.

If Kuczynski is removed from office, his first vice president would be next in line to the presidency.

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