Judge orders arrest of former Argentine president

Elias Hubbard
December 8, 2017

Judge Carlos Bonadio also ordered the arrest and detention of several other officials who served in Kirchner's two administrations, including former Foreign Minister Hector Timmerman, who was given house arrest due to his health, and former presidential secretary Carlos Zanini.

Kirchner, who is facing several corruption charges from her time as president, is set to take a seat in the Senate next week.

Kirchner, who has long claimed her legal woes are politically motivated, accused center-right President Mauricio Macri of "manipulating" the justice system to "persecute the opposition". In response, she shut down the Secretariat of Intelligence, replacing it with the Federal Intelligence Agency in March 2015.

The former president is accused of signing a deal with Tehran to allow Iranian officials suspected of ordering the attack on the Jewish centre to be interviewed by Argentine magistrates in Tehran rather than in Buenos Aires.

That will require a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate.

An Argentine judge called on Congress to remove former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's immunity as a senator so she can be arrested after bringing charges of treason, aggravated concealment and obstruction against her.

Kirchner's leftist alliance in the Senate has a total of 32 seats in the 72-seat Senate, but only around a dozen senators are in the Kirchner camp.

"Many of her administration are now on preventive detention and that's why there's many among the members of the previous government that are saying that the judge and the judiciary are persecuting [them] and that they are victims of the administration of [current President] Mauricio Macri".

Using "unofficial channels of communication and negotiation" with Tehran, Ms. Fernandez concocted an "orchestrated criminal plan" to shield the Iranian citizens behind the attack on a Jewish community center, which killed 85, Judge Claudio Bonadio wrote.

The case is based on a complaint filed by prosecutor Alberto Nisman in January 2015, four days before he was fatally shot in the head.

Kirchner is facing trial in several other cases involving corruption and money-laundering during her term as president.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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