Peru's first lady to be investigated for spending


LIMA (April 24, 2013): First Lady Nadine Heredia, a popular Peruvian figure tipped as a likely presidential candidate, will be investigated for spending at the request of opposition lawmakers, officials said Wednesday.

Investigators will probe alleged excessive spending by President Ollanta Humala's wife, budget auditing office chief Fuad Khoury said.

Lawmakers allied with jailed ex-president Alberto Fujimori are making the claims.

Humala's chief of staff Juan Jimenez said the office has every right to investigate Heredia's spending but stressed that she has done nothing inappropriate.

"She is working for this country. She is a public figure, she is supporting the president," Jimenez argued. "So let's just put aside the pettiness and let her keep her commitment to the people of Peru."

Among the potential concerns are the first lady's use of presidential aircraft to go on "social missions" around the South American nation.

Opposition lawmakers see her attendance of official openings of public works as costly de facto pre-campaigning ahead of the 2016 election.

A new poll published over the weekend showed 82 per cent of Peruvians expect Heredia to run for president. – AFP