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Odebrecht scandal reaches Peru's Keiko Fujimori

© AFP/File | Keiko Fujimori narrowly lost a second presidential election last year against the country's current leader Pedro Pablo Kuczynski


A mass corruption scandal over Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht has reportedly reached Peru's opposition leader Keiko Fujimori, daughter of a former president jailed for graft and human rights abuses.

Investigators found a note stored in the telephone of the company's jailed ex-boss Marcelo Odebrecht that appeared to indicate he was making payments to Fujimori, Peruvian prosecutor Alonso Pena was quoted as saying this week by newspaper Peru 21.

Odebrecht has already admitted his company paid millions of dollars in bribes to win contracts in various Latin American countries as well as pouring money into political campaigns.

Peruvian media said the payments hinted at in the telephone message were aimed at funding Fujimori's unsuccessful 2011 election campaign, to buy her influence.

Fujimori narrowly lost a second presidential election last year against the country's current leader Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. Her Popular Force party controls Peru's congress.

She has denied the accusations, saying on Twitter that she does not personally know Odebrecht.

Her father Alberto Fujimori is serving a 25-year sentence for human rights abuses and corruption from when he was president from 1990 to 2000.

Two former Peruvian presidents, Alejandro Toledo and Ollanta Humala, are already facing charges for allegedly taking bribes from the Brazilian firm.

- Colombia case -

In Colombia meanwhile, President Juan Manuel Santos is set to answer a summons to testify in a case against a ruling party senator implicated in the Odebrecht affair.

"The government is ready to respond to whatever the courts require," Interior Minister Guillermo Rivera told reporters Friday.

The Supreme Court has summoned Santos and some of his ministers to testify over allegations that Odebrecht paid bribes to win a contract to build a road.

Santos is not a suspect in the case but Senator Bernardo Elias faces charges.

Electoral authorities are investigating allegations that Odebrecht financed Santos's 2010 presidential campaign.

© 2017 AFP