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ARGENTINA | 29-02-2024 20:05

Argentina's former president Alberto Fernández charged in graft case

Former president Alberto Fernández was charged Thursday with alleged embezzlement of public funds – now a judge must decide whether to prosecute.

Former president Alberto Fernández was indicted Thursday for the alleged embezzlement of public funds, the judge who must decide whether to prosecute confirmed.

In the charge sheet, Fernández is accused of involvement in an “irregular” scheme to subcontract public service insurance plans to private companies at a higher fee, with kickbacks for connected brokers and officials.

Fernández is accused of having hired a "broker and private companies" to intermediate in the management of insurance, the Télam state news agency reported.

Also charged are Alberto Pagliano, the former head of Argentina's public insurance company Nación Seguros, and Héctor Martínez Sosa, a broker married to Fernández's former private secretary, María Cantero.

"The course of the investigation will help to determine the participation of other people in the alleged manoeuvres," read a report by federal prosecutor Ramiro González.

Judge Julián Ercolini, in charge of deciding whether or not the case will go to trial, told AFP he had not yet seen the charge sheet but confirmed it had been issued by the public prosecutor.

On Tuesday, Fernández had tried to distance himself from the case, telling the La Nación daily about his secretary: "I doubt she would do such a thing; if she did, I don't endorse it... I cannot guarantee that she didn’t do such a thing; if she did, she overstepped."

Fernández was president of Argentina from 2019 until handing power in December to President Javier Milei.


– TIMES/AFP

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