BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentine senators on Wednesday approved a judge’s request for authorities to carry out raids on properties owned by former President Cristina Fernandez as part of a case investigating widespread corruption.
Fernandez is currently a senator and was one of the 67 lawmakers who voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
The former leader has denied any wrongdoing and had already agreed to the raids with some conditions. She has been accused of being responsible for a corruption scheme involving public works contracts that has ensnared many of Argentina’s former officials and business elite.
The case has dominated headlines in Argentina since it broke out this month following an investigation by the newspaper La Nacion into alleged corruption over more than a decade during the governments of Fernandez and her predecessor and late husband, Nestor Kirchner.
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La Nacion says the driver of one of the accused kept notebooks with detailed information on his deliveries of millions in bags of cash paid to former officials in exchange for the granting of public contracts from 2005 to 2015. Fernandez’s private address and the presidential residence are allegedly mentioned.
So far, 15 people have been arrested in the case. They include business leaders from construction companies and former officials who served in Fernandez’s 2007-2015 administration.
A federal judge had requested raids, including homes in southern Santa Cruz province and an apartment in Argentina’s capital. It’s unclear when the raids will take place.
The case has caused outrage in Argentine, prompting thousands to stage a protest Tuesday demanding the removal of her immunity from prosecution as a senator.
Fernandez faces several other court actions in separate cases involving alleged money laundering, possible illegal enrichment and fraud.