Federal Prosecutor Ramiro González has formally notified President Alberto Fernández that he stands accused of breaking the mandatory quarantine and strict lockdown he himself imposed last year to tackle the spread of Covid-19.
The prosecutor informed the Peronist leader that the allegations related to a party held at the Quinta de Olivos presidential residence on July 14, 2020, marking the birthday of First Lady Fabiola Yañez.
The development comes just hours after Fernández presented himself before a federal judge on Thursday to offer a defence. The president offered to donate half of his next four monthly pay cheques to the ANLIS-Malbran Institute as a penalty for his actions. He delivered a legal brief to the judge after a federal prosecutor opened a preliminary investigation into the matter.
"As I have already publicly stated, I assume full responsibility for what happened in the Olivos residence,” wrote the president. “I must clarify that without prejudice to the fact that the events investigated here have taken on a public dimension, they took place within the orbit of family privacy."
He continued: "It was an encounter that should never have occurred, as a result of recklessness, but that in no way could constitute a crime."
All of the individuals who attended the birthday celebration, including the first lady, have also been notified of the allegations against them.
Opposition lawmakers would like to impeach Fernández if possible, though there is a little chance of them winning the necessary support to do so in Congress.