Peruvian ex-presidents to testify in Odebrecht bribery case

Lima, Dec 27 (IANS) Three former presidents in Peru are to testify before the Congress in relation to allegations of bribe taking, official said.

Ex-Presidents Alejandro Toledo, Alan Garcia and Ollanta Humala would be questioned about the Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht bribery case, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.

There were recent revelations that the construction giant Odebrecht paid out $29 million in bribes to secure major public works contracts during their administrations.

Beteta, a member of the opposition Popular Force (FP) party, said “if they have something to say, they must say it to the (congressional) committee”.

The committee was created to clear up the allegations tainting the governments of Toledo (2001-2006), Garcia (2006-2011) and Humala (2011-2016).

The scandal broke out on Thursday, following Brazilian media reports Odebrecht had admitted to paying more than $1 billion in bribes across much of Latin America and parts of Africa.

Ecuador, Peru, Panama and Venezuela immediately launched investigations into the matter.

The confession was made as part of a plea bargain deal with the US Department of Justice, which released the documents.