August 15, 2022

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Chile's Attorney General's Office opens investigation against Sebastian Pinera for the Pandora Papers |  international |  News

Chile’s Attorney General’s Office opens investigation against Sebastian Pinera for the Pandora Papers | international | News

The investigation follows Pandora Papers’ revelations about alleged wrongdoing in the sale of shares in a giant mining project in 2010.


This Friday, the Chilean Attorney General’s Office reported the opening of an ex officio investigation against the president of that country, Sebastian Pinera, after publishing pandora leaves Disclosure of alleged wrongdoing in the 2010 sale in the British Virgin Islands of its shares in a giant mining project.

“The national prosecutor has decided to open an ex officio criminal investigation into the events linked to the Bandura Papers,” said Marta Herrera, Director of Anti-Corruption at the National Prosecutor’s Office.

According to the official, “there are precedents that could reflect the nature of bribery, with its connection to bribery, and ultimately tax crimes.”

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), in cooperation with the Chilean media CIPER and LaBot, revealed last Sunday the sale in 2010 of a massive mining project called Minera Dominga to businessman and presidential family friend Carlos Alberto Delano in a $152 million operation partially implemented in the sanctuary region Caribbean tax.

The payment was supposed to be made in three installments, but the latter was conditional on not declaring the area an ecological reserve, despite the fact that the mine threatens a nature reserve with unique penguins, according to the ICIJ.

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Environmental protection relied on Piñera, who took office for his first term just months before the project was sold, which is currently approved by a regional environmental court but is under appeal by the Supreme Court.

The main objective of the investigation is to determine whether the contract of sale actually provided for the controversial clause from the last installment, an issue that was not included in the investigation that the prosecutor’s office itself opened in 2017 that ended up being dismissed.

“The English-language contract in the BVI was not included in the investigation (for 2017), and therefore sets a new precedent,” the attorney general said.

Pinera, who owns one of the biggest fortunes in Chile and who will leave power in March 2022, said this week that he had distanced himself from his companies before becoming president “more than 12 years ago” and that the information published – including the controversial clause – was already known and had been provided. investigated in 2017.

According to the president, the sale of the mining company, which is committed to investing $2,500 million and is located 500 kilometers north of the capital, was made by a blind trust, and that it was not consulted or notified “specifically to avoid anything.” hint of conflict of interest.

The opposition is preparing to issue a constitutional indictment in Parliament (political trial) against Pinera, which could end with his dismissal and disqualification from holding public office.

Ahead of the attorney general’s office’s announcement, the Seventh Security Court of Santiago on Friday acknowledged a complaint against the president filed by attorney Luis Mariano Rendón that has not yet been sent to the attorney general’s office in another independent process.

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Sebastian Pinera’s reaction

Chile’s President, Sebastian Pinera, said on Friday he was “fully confident” that a judge would proclaim his innocence in connection with the Public Prosecutor’s Office’s investigation against him for alleged irregularities revealed by the Bandura Papers.

“I have full confidence that justice will confirm the absence of wrongdoing as well as my complete innocence,” the president said in a statement to the press from the seat of government, La Moneda Palace, a few hours after the statement was issued. in the same topic. (I)