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Peru's attorney general to resign over corruption probe

LIMA, Peru — Peru’s attorney general said he will present his resignation on Tuesday amid calls for him to step down for allegedly hindering a sweeping corruption probe involving Brazilian mega-builder Odebrecht.

Pedro Chavarry said Monday on his Twitter account that he will offer his resignation to prosecutors the following day to “protect the autonomy of the Public Ministry” after President Martin Vizcarra urged lawmakers to declare an emergency in the office, which could have paved the way for his removal.

Lima’s bar association suspended Chavarry on Sunday. Vizcarra has repeatedly called for his resignation since he assumed the post of attorney general in July.

Last Wednesday, Chavarry reversed his dismissal of the lead investigators in the corruption probe into top officials, retreating in the face of a growing public outcry and street protests.

Their removal had threatened to derail the investigation into whether several former presidents and other high-ranking officials accepted money from Odebrecht.

Oderbrecht has admitted in U.S. court filings to winning public works contracts by paying $800 million in bribes to officials across Latin America, including $29 million in Peru.

Among those being investigated in the Odebrecht case are former President Alan Garcia and former presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori.

Prosecutors also have publicly accused Chavarry of having ties with criminal organizations made up of magistrates and businessmen who bartered power for favours or money, something he has denied.

Franklin Briceno, The Associated Press