July 21, 2018
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Peruvian president announces overhaul of justice system

Lima, Jul 11 (efe-epa).- President Martin Vizcarra announced here Wednesday plans to overhaul Peru's judiciary in response to the release of several recordings showing influence-peddling and other misconduct by judges.

In a speech at the Palace of Government in Lima, Vizcarra said that a commission of "honorable experts" would be created, tasked with drafting a bill to be presented in Congress on July 28, Peru's independence day.

"The serious misconducts revealed during the last few days, whereby members of the CNM (National Judiciary Council) and of the judicial branch negotiated favors and sentences, are completely shameless. This shows the extent of the structural problems affecting our justice system," the president said.

Vizcarra said that asking Congress to impeach and remove the members of the CNM "is not going to be enough."

"This is not going to be enough to resolve the root of the problem. We can change bad officials, but this won't resolve anything if the same practices are maintained. We have to cure the disease," he said.

The audio recordings implicate Supreme Court Justice Cesar Hinostroza, Callao Superior Court Judge Walter Rios, and three councilmembers of the CNM, the institution that is tasked with appointing and removing judges.

One of the recordings reveals negotiations being carried out to promote judges and prosecutors in exchange for bribes, as well as to reduce sentences and even absolve a man who raped an 11-year-old girl.

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