Argentina’s Vice-President sentenced to six years for corruption

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Argentina’s Vice-President sentenced to six years for corruption

A court in Argentina has sentenced Vice-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to six years in jail for corruption in a case that has shaken the country.

Fernández, 69, was found guilty of “fraudulent administration” over the awarding of public works contracts to a friend.

But she is unlikely to serve jail time.

Fernández has some immunity via her government roles and is expected to launch a lengthy appeals process.

She has also been banned from public office for life, but will continue in her role as vice-president while the case goes through higher courts.

Prosecutors had sought a 12-year jail sentence.

Fernández said the charges against her were politically motivated. Speaking after the verdict, she described herself as the victim of a “judicial mafia”, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Prior to the ruling, she had also accused the prosecutors of lying and slandering her.

It is the first time ever that a vice-president has been convicted of a crime while in office in Argentina.

Prosecutors said Fernández had led an unlawful partnership during the time when she was president of Argentina from 2007 to 2015.

They said she had created a kickback scheme which steered lucrative public work contracts towards a friend of hers in return for bribes.