Chilean Senate refuses to impeach president over trade deal revealed in Pandora Papers
Santiago (AFP) – The Chilean Senate on Tuesday refused to impeach President Sebastian Pinera over a trade deal revealed in the Pandora Papers leaks, refusing to join the lower house of Congress in opening a case against him.
The vote was 24 for impeachment, 18 against and one abstention. Those who voted to accuse the billionaire president of corruption needed at least 29 votes.
This means the case is closed, without Pinera being punished for the controversial sale of a mining company in 2010 while serving the first of two non-consecutive terms.
The Pandora Papers have highlighted offshore transactions involving major political figures from around the world.
They linked Pinera to the sale of a mining company called Dominga, through a company owned by his children, to businessman Carlos Delano, a close friend of the president, for $ 152 million.
According to newspapers, much of the operation was carried out in the British Virgin Islands, a tax haven.
The Chilean opposition said Pinera had benefited himself and his family from the sale thanks to the information he had in the course of his duties.
He says Pinera’s involvement drove up the sale price.
The Chamber of Deputies voted last week to open impeachment proceedings.
Pinera, one of Chile’s richest men, has denied any wrongdoing and said he was cleared in a 2017 investigation into the transaction.
This is the second impeachment case brought against Pinera, after an unsuccessful attempt to remove him from office in 2019 following a sometimes brutal crackdown on protesters angry at Chile’s yawning rift between rich and poor. .
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