A Peruvian prosecutor has formally accused a popular former interior minister of murdering a journalist who covered the country's brutal internal conflict.

Luis Landa said in press interviews published Sunday that he is seeking a 25-year prison term for Daniel Urresti based on evidence that the retired army general was responsible for the murder of Hugo Bustios.

Bustios was a correspondent for the national magazine Caretas in the highlands town of Huanta. He was shot and then finished off with a grenade while investigating rights abuses in 1988.

Landa did not return repeated telephone messages left on his cell phone. Nor did chief prosecutor Pablo Sanchez.

Urresti was the government's most popular minister before being replaced last month. He is widely seen as a potential contender in 2016 presidential elections.