New justice president raises concerns

10 December 2018

On 6 December, members of the Supreme Court elected a new president of the judiciary, José Luis Lecaros. No sooner than he was elected, Lecaros expressed words of support for Pedro Gonzalo Chávarry, the chief public prosecutor (fiscal de la nación). Lecaros said he thought there was nothing “irregular” about allusions in taped phone conversations between Chávarry and disgraced former judge César Hinostroza linking Chávarry to circles of corruption in Callao.

Hinostroza is in jail in Spain, awaiting extradition back to Peru. The Spanish government has refused his application for political asylum.

The Instituto de Defensa Legal (IDL), the judicial watch-dog, has issued a statement warning that the election of Lecaros represents a major setback in the war against judicial corruption. At least two of the supreme court judges that voted for him appear embroiled in the Callao corruption scandal.

Lecaros’s remarks came hard on the heels of a pronouncement from Chávarry congratulating him on his election. He takes over as president of the judiciary on 1 January.

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