Peru’s president fires justice minister as new scandal spreads

Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra (left) and Justice Minister Salvador Heresi attend a swearing-in ceremony at the government palace in Lima, Peru April 2, 2018.

LIMA (Reuters) – Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra fired his justice minister yesterday after local media released an audio of a secretly-recorded phone conversation between the minister and a judge under investigation for influence peddling.

Vizcarra announced his decision to ask Justice Minister Salvador Heresi to resign hours after local TV station Panorama released the audio of the conversation, in which Heresi is heard asking Judge Cesar Hinostroza to advise him on a legislative proposal.

Hinostroza has been at the centre of a scandal that has rocked Peru’s justice system since investigative news outlet IDL-Reporteros started releasing secretly-recorded audios of phone conversations in which Hinostroza appears to be negotiating favours.

Hinostroza has denied wrongdoing. Heresi denied any wrongdoing in broadcast interviews yesterday and said on Twitter that he would step down.  

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