Pedro Castillo
Peru's former president Pedro Castillo was ousted by lawmakers after he tried to dissolve congress and rule by decree. Photo by: AFP/Javier Torres

Peru's top prosecutor's office has formalized an investigation into former President Pedro Castillo, according to a statement released on Tuesday. The investigation relates to accusations of criminal behavior made before Castillo was removed from office and detained in Dec. after attempting to illegally dissolve Congress.

Castillo is charged with offenses such as organized crime, influence peddling, and being an accomplice to collusion that occurred under his watch.

Days after Congress enacted a constitutional complaint allowing the office to formally launch the investigation, the attorney general made his judgment.

At the time Castillo was removed from office, the allegation, which claimed Castillo was implicated in corruption dating back to Jul. 2021, was still pending in Congress.

Two of Castillo's former ministers are the subject of ongoing investigations by the attorney general's office for allegedly being involved in bribery in exchange for public works contracts, including a case involving the state-owned oil company Petroperu.

In addition to being under investigation for crimes of rebellion and conspiracy for his attempt to dissolve Peru's unicameral Congress, Castillo has been held in pre-trial detention since Dec.

All accusations against him are denied by him, reports NBC News.

The removal of Castillo, a former teacher and the child of rural farmers, provoked a wave of violent protests that resulted in 60 fatalities, mostly in the poorer south of Peru.

The resignation of President Dina Boluarte, who succeeded Castillo, as well as early elections, the dissolution of Congress, and a new constitution have all been demanded by protesters.

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