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Ex-Argentina Vice President Boudou arrested in corruption case


This material belongs to: Reuters.

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Amado Boudou, who had been former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez’s economy minister and vice president, was arrested on corruption charges on Friday, becoming the second major official in her government to face detention.

Police arrested Boudou and an alleged associate, Jose Maria Nunez Carmona, in an upscale neighborhood of Buenos Aires for racketeering and money laundering, state-run news agency Telam also reported.

Local television showed Boudou, grim-faced and wearing a plain black t-shirt, as he stood beside two bearded security officers. Other photographs broadcast on television showed Boudou in handcuffs, standing in what appeared to be his home.

He has denied wrongdoing in the past.

The 55-year-old economist faces three counts of “illicit enrichment” dating back to 2009, the year he was promoted from heading Argentina’s social security administration to become Fernandez’s economy minister.

He became vice president in 2011, when Fernandez won reelection. But he was largely absent from public view during that four-year term as accusations of corruption mounted against him.

“They developed their criminal schemes at least since the start of August 2009, when Amado Boudou took charge of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, until the month of December 2015, when he finished his term as vice president,” according to the arrest warrant.

Fernandez’s former planning minister, Julio De Vido, was arrested on Oct. 25.

The cases have been an embarrassment for Fernandez, who won a seat in Argentina’s Senate last month, representing the province of Buenos Aires.

Fernandez herself is facing corruption allegations, but as a senator, she is immune from arrest.

She was indicted last year on charges that she and her public works secretary, Jose Lopez, embezzled money meant for road projects. Lopez was arrested in June 2016 while trying to stash bags of cash in a Catholic convent.