Europa World: The Europa World Year Book online Routledge -- Taylor & Francis group
Macri in power Political and economic reform

Corruption cases

Argentina: Corruption cases

The FPV suffered a further setback in April 2016 when former President Fernández and a former FPV planning minister, Julio de Vido, were implicated in a money laundering case. In June one of de Vido’s close associates, José López, a former secretary of public works, was arrested after being found throwing bags of cash into the grounds of a monastery. Fernández was indicted on charges of illicit enrichment in December, along with López and several others. They were accused of illegally diverting funds intended for public works projects. The former President also faced charges of manipulating currency markets while in office, and for money laundering. In March 2017 a federal court ruled that the former President should stand trial on charges of financial mismanagement while in office, although a trial date was yet to be set. In October de Vido, a federal deputy since 2015, was stripped of his parliamentary immunity in order that he face trial on corruption charges; he was sentenced to almost six years’ imprisonment in October 2018. Earlier in the year, in April, de Vido was also implicated in the widespread corruption case involving Brazilian engineering company Odebrecht: the charge related to Odebrecht’s bid to construct a gas pipeline in the country in 2006–08.

Early in November 2017 Amado Boudou, the former FPV Vice-President, was arrested on bribery charges first brought in 2014 (see Economic Strains ). He was sentenced to almost six years’ imprisonment in August 2018.

In addition to the five separate charges of corruption against her, in December 2017 former President Fernández was charged with treason in connection to her alleged role in covering up Iranian involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural centre (see The death of Alberto Nisman ). However, Fernández’s election to the Senate in October of that year afforded her immunity from arrest. Fernández’s former foreign minister, Héctor Timerman, was also charged in connection with the case and placed under house arrest. In March 2018 judicial authorities ruled that she would face prosecution, along with 12 others, but in November the ruling Cambiemos coalition failed in its attempt in the Senate to remove Fernández’s immunity. In May a judge initiated legal proceedings against Fernández and her two children on charges of money laundering; the trial was scheduled to begin in May 2019. De Vido was also to face trial on the same charges.

In August 2018 the discovery of notebooks written by the driver of a former deputy planning minister under President Fernández prompted a series of arrests of high-ranking officials. The notebooks detailed amounts of money paid by various businessmen and delivered by the driver to government officials in the Fernández administration. The implication was that these payments were bribes in exchange for the awarding of lucrative contracts. The notebooks not only implicated Fernández in the corruption, but also her husband, Néstor Kirchner. The revelations prompted widespread demonstrations across the country demanding that Fernández be stripped of her parliamentary immunity in order that she face charges. The former President was formally charged in September, although she retained her immunity. Fernández maintained her innocence of all the charges levelled against her, claiming that the accusations were politically motivated.

Citation: Corruption cases (Argentina), in Europa World online. London, Routledge. Retrieved 23 February 2020 from

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