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Cristina Kirchner and Carlos Menem, the two former Argentine presidents convicted of corruption

With the sentence known this Tuesday, the vice president Cristina Kirchner joined Carlos Menem (1989-1999) as the two former Argentine presidents since the return of democracy in 1983 to receive a judicial sentence, after the also Peronist died in 2021 without the verdict against him being final.

The trial that since May 2019 has seated the widow of the also former president on the bench for the first time Nestor Kirchner (2003-2007) is the seventh against a former Argentine head of state in the current democracy: Menem was on the bench before, on 5 occasions, and Fernando De la Rúa (1999-2001), once, in which he was acquitted.

LOOK HERE: LIVE | Cristina Kirchner is sentenced to 6 years in prison for corruption and perpetual disqualification

Likewise, the only former vice president to be convicted was Amado Boudou, Cristina Kirchner’s deputy between 2011 and 2015, who in 2018 was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison for the irregular purchase of a money printing press in 2010, when he was minister of Fernandez economy. In 2021, a judge granted him probation after serving two-thirds of the sentence.

These are the trials against the former Argentine presidents of democracy, all begun years after leaving power, except in the case of Fernández de Kirchner, vice president when she was sentenced.

Menem and arms smuggling

In 2008, the first trial of a former democratic ruler since 1983 was held, against Menem, then 78 years old, accused with other defendants of arms trafficking to Ecuador and Croatia between 1991 and 1995.

The ex-president -whose last candidacy for the Presidency was in 2003- came to spend six months in pretrial detention in 2001, and was released after the Supreme Court annulled the charges.

Since 2005, the privileges he obtained after being elected senator, a position he held until his death in 2021, shielded him from any arrest.

In 2011 he was acquitted, but in 2013 another court revoked it and sentenced him to seven years as a “co-perpetrator” of aggravated smuggling of war material. The sentence was confirmed in 2017, but the following year a higher chamber acquitted him.

Former Argentine President (1989-99) Carlos Menem leaves the hotel where he is staying December 27, 2004 in Buenos Aires. (Photo: ROLANDO ANDRADE / AFP) (ROLANDO ANDRADE /)

De La Rúa and bribes

De la Rúa, who resigned from the Presidency in December 2001 in the midst of the worst crisis in recent Argentine history, was prosecuted for his alleged responsibility in a bribery case in the Senate in 2000 for the approval of a labor reform.

The controversy led the then vice president and head of the Senate, Carlos Álvarez, to resign in October 2000.

Although the Prosecutor’s Office had requested six years in prison for De la Rúa, as the alleged co-perpetrator of the crime of aggravated active bribery, he was finally acquitted in 2013, like the other seven defendants.

Menem, the accounts in Liechtenstein and Switzerland and the ultralight aircraft

By declaring the crime prescribed, in 2013 a court acquitted Menem for alleged falsehood in his declaration of assets of 2000 and for omitting in it an account in Liechtenstein with six million dollars, another in Switzerland for $600,000 and two ultralight aircraft.

MORE INFORMATION: Cristina Kirchner after being sentenced to 6 years in prison: “This is a parallel State and judicial mafia”

The funds of both accounts remained frozen at the request of the Swiss Justice, which was investigating the former president for “possible money laundering.”

Menem and the bonuses

Menem’s third trial also affected some former senior officials of his government, accused of embezzlement of public funds.

In 2015, the Justice sentenced the ex-president to 4 and a half years in prison and perpetual disqualification from holding public office, considering him responsible for organizing a system of theft of reserved intelligence funds to distribute them illegally among ministers and secretaries during their presidential terms. .

The Federal Chamber of Cassation confirmed the sentence in 2018, although nothing happened due to the appraisal of Menem, who died without the Supreme Court, the last judicial instance, confirming the sentence.

The former president of Argentina (1989-99), Carlos Menem, poses during an interview with the press in his personal office in the city of Santiago on December 20, 2004. (Photo by MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP)

The former president of Argentina (1989-99), Carlos Menem, poses during an interview with the press in his personal office in the city of Santiago on December 20, 2004. (Photo by MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP) (MARTIN BERNETTI/)

Menem and the AMIA attack

Another process investigated Menem for the irregularities detected in the first trial of the attack on the AMIA Jewish mutual in Buenos Aires, which left 85 dead in 1994 and remains unpunished.

The senator was accused of “abuse of authority and violation of the duties of a public official and cover-up.”

The case judged facts surrounding the first trial for the attack, which began in 2001 and concluded in 2004 with the declaration of nullity of the entire investigation and the acquittal of the accused Argentine police officers, who had been accused of being part of the well-known “local connection”.

Finally, in 2019, Menem was one of the five acquitted, although 8 people, including ex-police officers, ex-prosecutors and ex-spies, were convicted.

Menem and the sale of a Solar

In 2018, the last trial that had Menem as the protagonist began, which culminated the following year with a sentence of three years and nine months in prison for fraud in the sale in 1990 at a low price of a State property to the Argentine Rural Society, one of the largest agricultural employers in the country.

ALSO SEE: Roads: How the corruption matrix that ended with the conviction of Cristina Kirchner and Lázaro Báez worked

This cause, for which he was dismissed in 2019, began in 1992 and lasted more than 25 years.

At his death, the elderly politician was still under investigation for the crime of “aggravated malicious damage” in the case of the explosion of a military factory in the province of Córdoba in 1995, which left 7 dead and 30 injured.

Source: Elcomercio

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