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Argentina corruption police raid former president’s properties

1 July 2016 16:01

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Argentinean police have searched properties of former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as part of an investigation into her alleged involvement in financial fraud.

Police raided the properties of former president in the southern province of Santa Cruz on Thursday.

The raids were ordered by a judge after allegations of corruption were leveled against Kirchner relating to a company, Los Sauces, partly owned by her family. The judge also issued a warrant to search offices and apartments belonging to the family of the former president.

Separately, a federal court has ordered that Fernandez be included in an investigation of alleged money laundering by Lazaro Baez, a businessman who benefited from public works contracts during the 12 years that Fernandez and her late husband as president were in power.

The businessman is now being held in police custody awaiting trial.

The leftist former leader used her Twitter account to decry the searches of her properties, calling the move political persecution by her successor. She has pointed the finger of blame at conservative President Mauricio Macri, who replaced her in December.

“It has been years, even decades, since we last saw this kind of abuse of power and political persecution,” Fernandez said, adding, “This is not the first, nor will it be the last case that they’re going to make up.”

However, this is not the first time the former president’s properties have been raided.

Also in 2015, some buildings belonging to her were searched by the country’s police after congresswoman Margarita Stolbizer filed a legal complaint against the former president.

The ex-president has also been implicated in an embezzlement case, and along with her son, has been swept up in legal proceedings over irregularities in family real estate activities.

The developments come as President Macri’s government has begun investigations into alleged corruption during Kirchner’s two-term presidency.

Kirchner, who was in power in 2007-15, left office in December 2015 after two consecutive terms.

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