Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Argentina: VP Boudou Makes Argentine History, First Time Sitting VP a Defendant in Corruption Case

According to The Latin American Tribune, surrounded by hundreds of government supporters, Argentine Vice President Amado Boudou on Monday (June 9) proclaimed his innocence before testifying as a potential defendant in a corruption case.

Prosecutors contend that Boudou used his position as economy minister in 2009-2011 to favor a firm that prints currency for the Argentine treasury.

The subpoena to appear, issued late last month by federal Judge Ariel Lijo, marked the first time in Argentine history that a sitting vice president was cited as a potential defendant in a criminal matter.

Boudou on Monday asked the judge to allow him to videotape his statement and to have a Senate stenographer present in court as a “defensive measure,” but Lijo rejected the request.

COMMENT: Few details were released in the proceedings, although presumably in the days ahead, the Argentine media will provide more information.

It seems unlikely that the prosecution would take on the Vice President if they failed to have a solid case. Time will soon tell.

Boudou, now 51, became vice president following the 2011 elections, in which President Cristina Fernández won a second term with 54% of the vote.

Yet, as Boudou has became mired in corruption scandals, President Fernández has moved the VP into the background.

Nevertheless, President Fernández has consistently expressed support for the embattled vice president.

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.