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Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Kirchner Found Guilty of Fraud, Gets Six Years in Prison

Kirchner has vigorously refuted all of the accusations against her

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

ARGENTINA: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the vice president and former president of Argentina, was found guilty in a $1 billion public works fraud case and received a six-year prison sentence as well as a lifetime ban from holding public office.

Fernández, 69, a political titan who served as president of Argentina for two terms between 2007 and 2015, was found guilty of fraud on Tuesday, though she is unlikely to serve any time in jail soon as she has immunity from prosecution due to her government positions, and it is anticipated that she will begin a protracted appeals process that could take years.

While the appeals are being heard, she technically has the option of running for office; nevertheless, she said on Tuesday that she “would not be a candidate for anything” in the general election next year.

Country’s biggest corruption operation

Judges from Buenos Aires’ Federal Court 2 declared Fernandez de Kirchner guilty of being the “criminally responsible author of the crime of fraudulent administration to the detriment of the public administration” during a livestreamed sentence.

On a different count of “illicit association,” the court cleared her.

After the conviction, Fernandez de Kirchner made a live video statement on her Youtube page, saying, “It is apparent that the aim was always to condemn me.” This operates in parallel to the state and the judicial mafia.

In August, prosecutors requested a 12-year prison sentence as well as a lifetime ban from politics.

The verdict marked the first time an Argentinian vice president has been found guilty while in office.

During her tenure as president of Argentina from 2007 to 2015, as stated by the prosecution, Fernández had an illicit partnership.

Prosecutors claimed that Lazaro Baez, a construction entrepreneur and ally, received public works contracts and used them as a means of remitting funds to Fernandez de Kirchner and her late husband, Nestor Kirchner, a former president. The Vice President’s supporters assert that she is a target of judicial persecution.

Lázaro Baez, a businessman suspected of being the scheme’s primary benefactor and the owner of a construction company, received a six-year prison term on Tuesday. Last year, he had already received a money-laundering term of 12 years in prison.

11 more people were on trial. Seven people were found guilty and given sentences ranging from three and a half to six years in prison. Three other people were also freed, and one person’s case was dismissed.

Numerous public work tenders awarded in the southern province of Santa Cruz, Fernández’s political base, were found to have anomalies, according to the prosecutors. Many of the building projects were never finished.

Diego Luciani, the prosecutor, called it “probably the biggest corruption operation the country has ever known.”

Additionally, he said that the alleged kickback system cost the Argentine government at least $1 billion (£818 million). 

Fernández has vigorously refuted all of the accusations.

Following a protracted economic crisis, the nation is on edge as the inflation rate approaches 100%.

After Fernandez de Kirchner survived an attempted assassination this year, her supporters rallied in the streets.

In the election of 2023, President Alberto Fernandez’s ruling Peronist government will have a difficult time defeating the conservative opposition.

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Also Read: Argentina Defeats Australia, to Clash with Netherlands in QF

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  • Sadaf Hasan

    Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

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