Peru judge in corruption scandal is arrested

Lima (AFP) –


A judge at the center of a major influence peddling scandal in Peru's justice system has been arrested, a prosecutor said Sunday.

Police captured Judge Walter Rios as part of an investigation after audio recordings sparked a scandal over influence peddling and sale of sentences, internal affairs prosecutor Jaime Velarde said on Twitter.

The audio recordings aired on investigative journalism website IDL-Reporteros and the Panorama program on television station Canal 5.

Rios is the first judge detained in the investigation.

President Martin Vizcarra dismissed justice minister Salvador Heresi on Friday after the release of the audio recordings and appointed a committee of six jurists headed by ex-chancellor Allan Wagner, giving them 12 days to deliver a judicial reform proposal.

The recordings scandal had already claimed eight victims before Heresi, with five judges and three judicial officials suspended earlier on Friday.

There is a feeling of deja vu in Peru, where two ex-presidents -- Alberto Fujimori in 2000 and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in March -- were brought down by undercover audio or video recordings.