Chile President Sebastián Piñera Face Impeachment After Scrutiny Over Pandora Papers Leak
Chile President Sebastián Piñera faced heightened scrutiny on Wednesday, as his opposition launched impeachment proceedings against him after being mentioned in the Pandora papers leak.
The move against the Chilean president stemmed out as he was linked to irregularities on the sale of a mining company, BBC reported.
Furthermore, the move marks the latest blow for Piñera, as he nears the end of his four-year term in the highest post of Chile's government. Piñera has not yet issued an official statement regarding the impeachment process filed by his opposition.
Chile President Impeachment
On Wednesday, Congressman Tomas Hirsch said that the Chilean president utilized his office "for personal business," Al Jazeera reported.
Hirsch voiced out his thoughts as he presented the accusation on Chile's lower house of Congress, which is the first step in the process of filing for an impeachment. According to reports, the process of removing Piñera from his post could take several weeks.
Meanwhile, leftist lower House lawmaker, Jaime Naranjo, said that Piñera's involvement in the deal mentioned in the pandora papers "compromised the honor of the nation," and that the president "openly infringed the constitution."
The opposition-controlled Chamber of Deputies will decide through a vote if they will accept or reject the impeachment process filed by the president's opposition.
The impeachment process against Piñera stemmed out after he was mentioned in the Pandora Papers leak. The said documents were obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington D.C. the said organization worked with over 140 media organizations.
The documents alleged that Piñera sold the Dominga Mine, to a childhood friend, Carlos Alberto Délano, in 2010 for $152 million, nine months after he assumed the presidency in Chile. The said mine covers a copper and iron project in an environmentally sensitive area.
Moreover, the documents included a clause alleging that the third installment of payment required Chile's government not to reinforce or strengthen environmental protections in the proposed area.
Chile President Investigated Over Pandora Papers Leak
Facing scrutiny over the Pandora paper leaks, an investigation was opened by the Chilean Public Prosecutor's Office into President Sebastián Piñera on Friday over the alleged sale of the mining company, France 24 reported.
The probe was launched by Attorney General Jorge Abbott, saying that the sale of the mining company was made through a firm owned by his children.
Meanwhile, Marta Herrera, the head of the anti-corruption unit in the public prosecutor's office, said they decided to conduct an investigation over the possibility of "bribery" and "eventual tax crimes."
However, the president denied the claims of the Pandora papers, claiming that details of the said deal were investigated in 2017. He also claimed that the said probe four years ago cleared him of any wrongdoing.
"As president of Chile, I have never carried out any action nor management related to Dominga Mining," Piñera underscored.
Despite disputing the claims of the Pandora paper leaks, Chile's president expressed his confidence that the courts would confirm his innocence on the allegations slammed against him.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written By: Joshua Summers
WATCH: Chileans Demand President Pinera Resign After Pandora Papers - From Bloomberg Quicktake: Now
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