Argentine vice president sentenced to prison for corruption

An Argentine court has sentenced Vice President Cristina Kirchner to six years in prison and banned her from holding any official position for life after she was found guilty of corruption.

The court ruled that Kirchner, 69, was found guilty of “administrative fraud” based on irregular public auctions awarded while she was president from 2007 to 2015.

In August last year, prosecutors demanded that Kirchner be imprisoned for 12 years and banned from holding any official position.

Kirchner (the centre-left), who has been president for seven years, remains a central figure in Argentine politics, she is also divisive and has always denied committing any wrongdoing.

Since the hearings began in 2019, Kirchner has condemned the “politicized” trial and the use by the right-wing opposition, especially the camp of liberal former President Mauricio Macri, as a tool to fight him.

Notably, Kirchner is the chair of the Senate, a position that gives her immunity to avoid jail. Immunity may be extended if the winner emerges in the general election scheduled for October 2023.

The verdict does not take effect until all avenues of appeal have been exhausted, including to the Supreme Court, which can take years.

Against the backdrop of violent political polarization in the country, the accusation led to demonstrations in support of Kirchner, organized by the left, of which they are the most important figures.

Source: AFP

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