Politics 02-08-2018

Argentina detains ex-directors, one near Macri, for bribes

Argentina detains a dozen people, among them ex-employees of Cristina Kirchner and a former leader close to Macri, for alleged millionaire bribes.

The police chief, Néstor Roncaglia, announced that the arrests (12 in all) were made in the early hours of Wednesday and 34 raids were carried out in Buenos Aires (Argentine capital) and its periphery.

Among the detainees are the former "number two" of the Federal Planning Ministry Roberto Baratta, the former secretary of coordination of the former Federal Planning Minister Julio De Vido, and Javier Sánchez Caballero, former general manager of IECSA, the firm that belonged to Ángelo Calcaterra, cousin of President Mauricio Macri, and that was previously investigated for bribes from the Odebrecht firm.

It came to light the existence of two notebooks and manuscripts and six notebooks, in which the exchofer of one of the officials allegedly left record of the movements of money for a decade.

According to the Prosecutor's Office, it is about the movement of "about 160 million dollars in cash" in bags, which came from bribes given by businessmen in exchange for the awarding of public works.

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In addition, federal judge Claudio Bonadio quoted the former president (2007-2015) and current senator Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as testimony on August 13 in the case; it was not clarified as a witness or imputed.

"The criminal hypothesis being investigated is the illicit association," said the prosecutor in charge of the case, Carlos Stornelli, to a local radio station, and also stressed that "20 arrest warrants were issued."

Kirchner, a loyal critic of the government of President Macri, always rejects any link with acts of corruption, and denounces that in his country there is a "permanent persecution of opponents ", claiming to be one of the victims of that "judicial" persecution of the Executive which aims to frighten the opposition.

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