/

Argentine ex-Vice President Amado Boudou convicted for corruption under former President Cristina Kirchner

AFP-JIJI

Former Argentine Vice President Amado Boudou was sentenced to nearly six years in prison on Tuesday after being found guilty of corruption while serving under former President Cristina Kirchner.

The charges related to Boudou’s attempt to buy a company that printed currency through a front business while serving as Kirchner’s economy minister.

A court found him guilty of “passive bribery” and conduct “incompatible” with his duties as a public servant, sentencing him to five years and 10 months in prison.

Boudou, who served in Kirchner’s Cabinet from 2009 to 2015, has been banned for life from holding public office.

His lawyers are expected to appeal the conviction.

Argentina has been rocked by a major corruption scandal involving top political and business figures and compared to neighboring Brazil’s sprawling “Operation Car Wash” probe.

Kirchner herself, president from 2007 to 2015, has been summoned for questioning next week amid allegations that tens of millions of dollars in bribes were funneled to the presidential residence, and executive mansion and offices.

Boudou told the court that he had never negotiated a 70 percent stake in Ciccone eight years ago, saying the “alleged bribe has no basis or link to the evidence because it didn’t exist.”

Five other entrepreneurs were convicted alongside Boudou, including the company’s former owner Nicolas Ciccone, who was given a four year, six month sentence.

Laura Alonso, head of the anti-corruption office, said this case showed the country had “tried corruption in an open and public trial” and that there is “justice in Argentina.”