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article imageKirchner's son in court over Argentine corruption scandal

By AFP     Oct 23, 2018 in World

The son of Argentine ex-president Cristina Kirchner appeared in court Tuesday to testify as a suspect in the "corruption notebooks" scandal in which his mother is accused of receiving tens of millions of dollars in bribes.

Maximo Kirchner appeared before investigating judge Claudio Bonadio and delivered a letter criticizing the court.

"There is no evidence that even remotely justifies my subpoena," he said.

The "corruption notebooks" case relates to a ministerial chauffeur's records -- written in school copybooks -- of his drop-offs of millions of dollars of bribes paid by businessmen to government officials to win public works contracts.

According to prosecutors, Kirchner was linked to the case by the testimony of a former official, Jose Lopez, who said he received some of the payments.

In court Tuesday, Kirchner -- a son from his mother's marriage to the late president Nestor Kirchner -- ridiculed Lopez's evidence and asked to have it reviewed by his lawyers.

Kirchner was linked to the case by the testimony of a former official  Jose Lopez
Kirchner was linked to the case by the testimony of a former official, Jose Lopez

As a lawmaker in the lower chamber of Argentina's Congress, Kirchner -- like his mother, now a senator -- is protected by congressional immunity from imprisonment, although not from prosecution.

However, last month the Senate did vote to partially lift Cristina Kirchner's immunity so that investigators could search her three homes.

She has already been called in for questioning twice by Bonadio, the judge leading the wide-ranging corruption investigation.

The 65-year-old is under investigation in seven corruption cases in total, but claims she is the victim of "judicial persecutions" aimed at derailing her bid to run for a third presidential term in next year's elections.

Both she and Nestor Kirchner, whom she succeeded as president in 2007, are suspected of having accepted millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for public works contracts.

More about Argentina, Prosecution, Construction, Parliament, Corruption
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