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ARGENTINA | 28-03-2019 18:55

Fernandez de Kirchner faces new probe over misuse of presidential planes

Former head of state allegedly committed embezzlement "by taking advantage of the presidential plane fleet," alleges federal judge Claudio Bonadio as he opens new investigation into ex-president.

Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio has launched a new investigation into former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

The judge announced this afternoon that he believes the former head of state had committed embezzlement "by taking advantage of the presidential plane fleet" while she was president from 2007 to 2015, and while she was a lawmaker during the 2003-2007 presidency of her late husband Néstor Kirchner.

She was accused of using presidential airplanes to transport furniture, a bed, clothing including lingerie, newspapers and even a hair stylist to her homes in the country's south. Some of the items were allegedly for use in a chain of hotels owned by the Kirchner family in Patagonia, the court said.

Fernández de Kirchner has immunity from arrest, which she gained after being elected to the Senate.The Judicial Information Centre also revealed that Fernández de Kirchner's former secretary to the presidency and ex-head of the intelligence services, Oscar Parrilli, will face similar charges. An embargo of 500,000 pesos (about US$12,500) was requested by Judge Bonadio.

The judge says that testimony by pilots shows that Fernández de Kirchner and her late husband regularly used the presidential fleet to get newspapers delivered from Buenos Aires to the cities of Río Gallegos and El Calafate, where the Kirchner family has residences.

The former president, now a sitting senator for Buenos Aires Province, denies the allegations.

She currently faces a dozen investigations into alleged corruption.

- TIMES/AP/AFP

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