Kirchner corruption trial opens in Argentina




  • In Business
  • 2019-05-21 17:12:58Z
  • By AFP

Buenos Aires (AFP) - Former Argentine president Cristina Kirchner arrived in court Tuesday for the start of a corruption trial that will unfold as the country heads towards general elections in October.

Kirchner, 66, is accused of favoring a businessman friend, Lazaro Baez, for lucrative road construction contracts in Argentina's southern Santa Cruz province. The charges date from her two terms as Argentina's president from 2007-2015.

In a message on Twitter hours before her court appearance, she dismissed the trial as a "smokescreen" intended to distract voters from the country's "dramatic" economic problems.

"It is a new act of persecution with a single objective: to place a former president opposed to this government on the defendants' bench during a full presidential campaign," she wrote.

Kirchner, widely tipped in opinion polls to beat incumbent Mauricio Macri in a presidential run-off, surprised supporters at the weekend by announcing she would instead seek the vice presidency.

Despite a series of corruption scandals, Kirchner has retained strong support, particularly among the poorest Argentines who are bearing the brunt of Macri's economic policies.

Unemployment and social unrest is growing amid high inflation and a weak peso.

That helped make her a favorite in polling ahead of the October 27 presidential election, with some surveys putting her ahead of Macri.

Judge Claudio Bonadio had asked that Kirchner be held in pre-trial detention, but the parliamentary immunity she enjoys as a senator spared her.

The trial in Buenos Aires' Comodoro Py courthouse is expected to take a year. Kirchner's attendance at the opening is compulsory, but she can send a representative to the subsequent weekly hearings.

Twelve other people are accused in the case, including Baez, Julio De Vido, a former minister, and a former government official Jose Lopez.

The trial opening Tuesday is the first in a string of 12 corruption cases Kirchner faces.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Argentina, Uruguay restoring power after massive blackout
Argentina, Uruguay restoring power after massive blackout

Electricity services have been restored to more than 50 percent of Argentina and Uruguay following a massive blackout that left around 48 million people without power on Sunday, authorities said. At around 3:30 pm (1830 GMT), Argentina's Energy Minister Gustavo Lopetegui said services had been restored in 56 percent of the country. In neighboring Uruguay, the state power company UTE said power had returned to three-quarters of the country.

The Latest: Edesur: Power restored to 1.5 million Argentines
The Latest: Edesur: Power restored to 1.5 million Argentines
  • World
  • 2019-06-16 17:55:48Z

Argentine energy company Edesur says that electricity has been restored to more than 1.5 million people. President Mauricio Macri also said that 50% of the country had power after a massive failure in Argentina and Uruguay on Sunday morning left many in the dark.

Massive power outage hits Argentina, Uruguay: power companies
Massive power outage hits Argentina, Uruguay: power companies

A massive outage blacked out Argentina and Uruguay on Sunday, leaving both South American countries without electricity, power companies said. "The causes are being investigated and have not yet been determined," Argentina's secretariat of energy said on its Twitter account, adding it would take "some hours" to restore power completely. Argentina, with 44 million people, and Uruguay, with 3.4 million, have a common power grid centered on the bi-national Salto Grande dam, 450 kilometers (280 miles) north of Buenos Aires.

Copa America: Rodriguez leads Colombia to win over Argentina
Copa America: Rodriguez leads Colombia to win over Argentina

James Rodriguez got the best of Lionel Messi in the Copa America, leading Colombia to a 2-0 win over Argentina in their opening game in the South American tournament on Saturday. Rodriguez set up Roger Martinez's opening goal in the second half with a high, diagonal pass across the field, and substitute Duván Zapata scored late to seal the victory that allowed Colombia to end a 12-year winless streak against the Argentines.

Scaloni: I
Scaloni: I'll retire if Argentina win Copa America

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni joked he will retire if La Albiceleste win the Copa America in Brazil. Argentina - runners-up in the past two editions - open their Copa campaign against Colombia in Salvador on Saturday. La Albiceleste, who lost to Chile in 2015 and 2016, also suffered a last-16 World Cup exit at the hands of France last year.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.