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ARGENTINA | 03-11-2017 11:25

Former vice-president Amado Boudou arrested

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's VP taken in custody this morning on charges including money-laundering and hiding undeclared assets.

Amado Boudou, Argentina’s vice-president under Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was arrested this morning in Puerto Madero on charges including money-laundering and hiding undeclared assets.

Judge Ariel Lijo ordered his arrest in a case initially brought in 2012, after concluding there was sufficient proof that Boudou had "profited in an unjustified manner" and that the former president could interfere with the investigation into alleged wrongdoing. The case file stated that there were "large inconsistencies" in his tax returns.

Boudou served economy minister from 2009-2011, then as vice-president from 2011 until Fernández de Kirchner left office in December 2015.

Lijo said that Boudou, 54, "had been enriched unjustifiably during the exercise of public duties."

The judge cited tax return anomalies, the 2010 purchase of a Buenos Aires apartment by his former girlfriend, and the unclear source of tens of thousands of dollars in income.

His former girlfriend, Agustina Kämpfer, has been called to testify and will also face money-laundering charges. Boudou’s business partner, José María Nuñez Carmona, was also arrested.

Kirchnerite troubles. The arrest came less than 24 hours after Fernández de Kirchner herself lost a legal appeal against corruption charges, with a high court saying the prosecution's case against her can go ahead.

The federal appeals court upheld a previous ruling that the 64-year-old former head of state must answer charges of criminal association and fraud that stem from her 2007-2015 term in office.

Fernández de Kirchner, however, enjoys parliamentary immunity from jail if convicted, having become a senator-elect in polls held last month. She says the charges are politically motivated and has accused the Mauricio Macri administration of seeking to “persecute" her and her former officials.

Longtime Kirchnerite figure and former planning minister, Julio de Video, was arrested just two weeks ago on corruption charges after Congress stripped him of his parliamentary immunity.

A former deputy public works minister, José López, is also facing charges after being caught by police trying to hide approximately US$9 million in cash in a Buenos Aires convent earlier this year.

- Times/AFP

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