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Argentina's Kirchner charged in new corruption case

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Argentina's former president Cristina Kirchner was charged in yet another corruption investigation on Monday, in this case over the fraudulent import of liquid gas

[BUENOS AIRES] Argentina's former president Cristina Kirchner was charged in yet another corruption investigation on Monday, in this case over the fraudulent import of liquid gas.

Judge Claudio Bonadio, who Kirchner accuses of political persecution, requested that the ex-president be placed in pre-trial detention, but her partial immunity as a senator shields her from imprisonment.

Among the 10 cases brought against Kirchner, the most notable is the "corruption notebooks" scandal in which she is accused of having received tens of millions of dollars in bribes.

In that case, the prosecution claims that a total of US$160 million in bribes were handed over between 2005 and 2015.

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Center-left politician Kirchner was president for successive terms from 2007 to 2015, but her late husband Nestor preceded her in the top job.

She hopes to stand in October's presidential elections and is the closest rival to center-right president Mauricio Macri, according to polls.

Kirchner is currently in Cuba, where her daughter Florencia is receiving hospital treatment.

She will face trial for corruption in May in a case in which she is accused of having favored businessman Lazaro Baez in the attribution of 52 public works contracts worth 46 billion pesos (S$1.62 billion) during her presidency.

Baez's BTP company secured large contracts in Santa Cruz province, where Nestor Kirchner served as governor for more than a decade.

AFP