A court investigating Argentine ties to the international Odebrecht corruption scandal on Wednesday indicted a group of high-profile former officials of the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner government.
Former Planning Ministry Julio de Vido was among the men. Federal Judge Sebastián Casanello indicted the disgraced former minister for allegedly receiving bribes in exchange for the granting of public works tenders tied to the Aysa water facility.
Businessman Jorge "Corcho" Rodriguez was also indicted as the alleged intermediary in the shady deal, as were the former officials of the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration, Roberto Baratta and José López and former Aysa officials Carlos Ben and Raúl Binacuzzo.
Baratta and López were Planning Ministry secretaries under Julio de Vido. All three men are in jail under preventative arrest orders linked to separate corruption investigations.
Casanello also ordered an asset freeze to the tune of AR$ 511 million pesos and formally requested the extradition of nine former Brazilian executives of the Odebrecht and Camargo Correa firms.
Former Argentine government officials were in May indicted on charges of fraud. For his part, Jorge "Corcho" Rodríguez was indicted for being a necessary party in the payment of bribes to former Fernández de Kirchner officials, under the orders of Odebrecht.
A SORDID AFFAIR
The so-called Odebrecht or "Lava Jato" ("Car Wash" in Portuguese) case became the biggest investigation into corruption in Latin America in history on December 21, 2016 when documents from the United States Department of Justice, whose content was published in Argentina by Perfil, revealed the confessions of six executives of Brazil’s largest construction firm. The case exposed bribes to the tune of US$439 million to public servants in 12 countries in Latin America and Africa as well as another US$ 599 million in Brazil.
In Argentina, the cases are split into seven judicial investigations between four judges including suspected bribe payments to officials of the former Kirchner administrations, tender giveaways, irregular contracts and cartelization of public works.