LIMA – Former Peruvian president Ollanta Humala and his wife Nadine Heredia were questioned on Wednesday by a prosecutor who is investigating them for alleged money laundering.
Humala and Heredia are being probed by anti-corruption prosecutor German Juarez over contributions and donations received by the left-wing Peruvian Nationalist Party (PNP) during the 2006 and 2011 presidential campaigns.
Humala was that party’s candidate in both of those years and served as president from 2011 to 2016.
Also targets of the investigation are the former first lady’s brother, former PNP Treasurer Ilan Heredia; her mother, Antonia Alarcon; and her friend Rocio Calderon.
Humala came under investigation in October and has been barred from leaving Peru without a judge’s prior approval.
Humala and Heredia were summoned for questioning after the release of plea-bargain testimony by the former chief executive officer of Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, Marcelo Odebrecht, and the former top Odebrecht executive in Peru, Jorge Barata, regarding a $3 million contribution to Humala’s campaign in 2011.
Barata told prosecutor Hamilton Castro, who is heading up the Odebrecht investigation in Peru, that he delivered $1 million in cash to Heredia at an apartment owned by Humala in Lima.
He said he had acted at the request of Brazil’s then-ruling party, the center-left Workers Party (PT) of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Revelations by Barata also have prompted Peruvian investigators to seek the arrest of another former president, Alejandro Toledo, on charges of receiving millions in bribes from Odebrecht.
Peru has asked the United States to extradite the former president, who governed from 2001 to 2006.
Juarez also has summoned Heredia to appear for further questioning on May 2 and May 8 and Humala to appear on May 11.
Odebrecht and its petrochemical arm Braskem reached a massive settlement in December with authorities in the United States, Brazil and Switzerland.
They pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a combined total penalty of at least $3.5 billion to resolve charges arising out of their bid-rigging schemes, which began as early as 2001, lasted for more than a decade and involved the payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to government officials in countries around the world.
Those countries included Peru, where Odebrecht acknowledged paying $29 million in bribes, according to court documents.