In the indictment, the erstwhile head of state is accused of showing favoritism toward the Austral group, owned by Lazaro Baez, who was close to Fernandez’s late husband and predecessor, Nestor Kirchner
BUENOS AIRES – An Argentine federal judge on Tuesday charged former President Cristina Fernandez with steering public works contracts to a political ally during her 2007-2015 tenure.
In the indictment, Judge Julian Ercolini accused the erstwhile head of state of showing favoritism toward the Austral group, owned by Lazaro Baez, who was close to Fernandez’s late husband and predecessor, Nestor Kirchner.
Baez is already behind bars awaiting trial on money-laundering charges.
Accused along with Fernandez are former Federal Planning Minister Julio De Vido and the former secretary of public works, Jose Lopez.
Prosecutors say Baez’s firm benefited from major infrastructure projects in Kirchner’s home province of Santa Cruz.
The scheme began during Kirchner’s 2003-2007 presidency, according to the indictment.
Fernandez said in October after a court appearance that the case was politically motivated, telling reporters she was the victim of “a formidable maneuver of political persecution and media harassment” masterminded by President Mauricio Macri.
The incumbent is trying “to conceal the economic and social disaster” his policies have caused in Argentina, Fernandez said.