Argentina's vice president found guilty of fraud

Deutsche Welle

Posted at Dec 07 2022 11:36 AM

Former President and current Vice President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez participates in a public act, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 4, 2022. Juan Ignacio Roncoroni, EPA-EFE
Former President and current Vice President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez participates in a public act, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 4, 2022. Juan Ignacio Roncoroni, EPA-EFE

Argentina's Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was found guilty of corruption by a federal court on Tuesday.

The 69-year-old polarizing politician also sentenced to six years in prison in the highly-charged legal case relating to irregularities in the concession of road works.

What did the court rule?

Fernandez was found guilty of fraud for taking part in a scheme that embezzled $1 billion during her presidency. The vice president had been on trial since 2019 for allegedly defrauding the state during her two terms as president between 2007 and 2015.

The federal court also handed down a lifetime ban from holding public office.

Speaking after the verdict was announced, Fernandez denied the accusations against her and described herself as a victim of the "judicial mafia."

Fernandez is expected to appeal the verdict, with the process potentially taking years. She will remain immune from arrest in the meantime.

Company front used to embezzle state funds, prosecutors claim 

Prosecutors claimed that Fernandez counterfeited 51 public works projects to Lazaro Baez, a construction tycoon.

Baez had close ties to her husband Nestor Kirchner, Argentina's former president during the years of 2003 - 2007.

According to the prosecutors, the company was founded to misappropriate revenues by bidding on projects that were overcalculated and often ended up incomplete.

Other cases are pending against Fernandez, including a charge of money-laundering that incriminates her son and daughter.