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argentina CORRUPTION

Máximo Kirchner summoned to testify in 'notebook' bribery investigation

Máximo Kirchner’s summons stems from statements made to the court by disgraced former Public Works secretary José López, who claimed the La Cámpora youth movement which Kirchner leads was involved in widespread corruption involving kickbacks from public works contracts.

Tuesday 9 October, 2018
Lawmaker Máximo Kirchner.
Lawmaker Máximo Kirchner. Foto:Noticias Argentinas

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Máximo Kirchner will appear in court to testify in the so-called “notebooks of corruption” investigation, after Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio summoned the national congressman on Tuesday.

Kirchner, the son of former presidents Néstor and Cristina Fernández, will appear on October 23, the Noticias Argentinas news agency reported, citing judicial sources.

His testimony will follow former Justice secretary Julián Álvarez, whom Bonadio also summoned on Tuesday.

Late last month, the controversial federal judge slammed former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner with a preventative arrest order on accusations of bribery. He also set an embargo of four billion pesos (US$101 million) on her assets.

Fernández de Kirchner is currently a sitting senator for Buenos Aires Province, a post that grants her immunity from imprisonment, though not from prosecution. Senators would have to vote to strip her of that benefit, before her arrest could proceed. If such a decision is not taken, she would not be jailed, even if found guilty. Bonadio has requested the Senate strip her of immunity.

On her second visit to court for this case, Fernández de Kirchner last month submitted a letter to the judge reiterating her "categorical and strict denial" that she "committed any crime" or was involved in "any illicit activity." She also repeated her claim that the Mauricio Macri administration was moving against her in order to distract attention away from the economic "debacle."

LA CAMPORA

Máximo Kirchner’s summons stems from statements made to the court by disgraced former Public Works secretary José López, who claimed the La Cámpora youth movement which Kirchner leads was involved in widespread corruption involving kickbacks from public works contracts.

Kirchner responded by rejecting the allegations, adding that "it is obvious" that the US$9 million in cash which Lopez was caught trying to hide in a Catholic monastery "does not" belong to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

His fellow national lawmakers Eduardo “Wado” de Pedro and Andres “Cuervo” Larroque, as well as former Buenos Aires provincial lawmaker Jose Ottavis — all La Cámpora members — have already testified before Bonadio in the ongoing investigation.

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