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ARGENTINA | 11-03-2019 16:56

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner indicted over possession of rare historic documents 

Documents include letter by José de San Martín to Chilean Bernardo O'Higgins dated 1835, and a handbook by the iconic Radical president Hipólito Yrigoyen.

Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio on Monday indicted former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner for the alleged illegal possession of rare historic documents, which his court found during a search of her El Calafate property in 2018.

Fernández de Kirchner now faces possible charges of "illegal hiding, destroying or exporting of historic documents", according to Bonadio's ruling.

It seems a relatively minor offence for CFK, given the former head of state faces a number of corruption investigations in Bonadio's same court.

The documents include a letter by José de San Martín to the Chilean Bernardo O'Higgins dated 1835, and a handbook by the iconic Radical president Hipólito Yrigoyen.

In his investigation, Bonadio summoned the director of the National General Archive, Emilio Perina to authenticate the documents, the Télam news agency reported. Fernández de Kirchner's latest inditement was made possible because of that authentication, with Bonadio suspecting she may have obtained them "illegally".

The documents were found during a search on the former president's El Calafate property in August 2018, as part of the pre-trial investigation of the so-called "notebooks of corruption" case in which Fernández de Kirchner faces accusations of graft.

Now a senator for Buenos Aires province with parliamentary immunity, she appeared in Bonadio's court seven weeks to answer to accusations surrounding seven specific episodes of alleged graft.

Both Fernández de Kirchner, 65, and her late husband and predecessor as president, Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007), are suspected of having received millions of dollars in bribes from businessmen in exchange for large-scale public works contracts, with witnesses having testified bags of money were dropped off at their private residences and the Olivos presidential residence.

The payments were allegedly documented by ministerial chauffeur Oscar Centeno in notebooks seized by investigators. The original notebooks, however, were reportedly burned by the driver, with only photocopies remaining.

-TIMES/AGENCIES

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