Wednesday 28 December 2016

Former President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner To Face Corruption Charges

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

The former President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, has been charged with corruption.

She was formally accused of fraudulent administration and illicit association after the charges were approved by a federal judge.

Two former aides, ex-Planning Minister Julio de Vido and former Public Works Secretary Jose Lopez, have also been charged.

It is alleged Ms Fernandez’s government gave public contracts to Lázaro Báez, a businessman who is close to her family.

A total of 52 contracts worth approximately $2.9bn (£2.4bn) were assigned to Mr Baez's companies at prices that averaged 15 per cent above the original budget.

The judge’s order froze the equivalent of up to $633m (£516m) of each defendant's assets.

Ms Fernandez did not make an immediate comment on the charge, but has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and invited an audit of public works contracts during her administration.

There is a possible 10-year prison sentence for illicit association, while fraudulent administration can lead to six years behind bars.

Ms Fernandez was indicted in May on charges of causing economic damage to the government by manipulating currency exchange future markets.

Since leaving office in December 2015, Ms Fernandez has claimed she is the victim of persecution by her successor, Mauricio Macri.



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