[JURIST] Argentine federal judge Ariel Lijo on Friday charged [text, in Spanish] Amado Boudou with bribery and abusing his position in negotiations with the objective of obtaining benefits for himself and others. Boudou is accused of conducting business incompatible with Articles 256, 258 and 265 [text, in Spanish] of the Argentine penal code. According to Lijo’s investigation, Boudou and others created a shell company in order to purchase a failing printing company for the benefit of government contracts and certain tax breaks. The printing company, Ciccone Calcografica, was contracted by the government to print the Argentine peso and campaign material for the electoral ticket Boudou shared with President Cristina Fernandez [JURIST news archive]. It is believed that Boudou’s shell company, The Old Fund, was used as a means of ensuring that a contract to print Argentina’s currency was awarded to a company under Boudou’s control.
During Fernandez de Kirchner’s presidency the country has seen a number of scandals and financial problems. The country continues to be plagued by its debts from its financial collapse in 2002. Earlier this month, the US Supreme Court [official website] denied an appeal from a 2012 ruling that Argentina must pay $1.33 billion to bondholders when it repays its debts [JURIST reports]. Last year Argentina’s Supreme Court upheld a 2009 bill Fernandez de Kirchner signed into law [JURIST report], giving her government more power to regulate the media, while limiting the power of private media companies. Also last year Argentina’s highest criminal court convicted [JURIST report] former president Carlos Menem of selling illegal weapons to Croatia and Ecuador during his presidency. In 2011 Menem was also put on trial for crimes committed during his presidency. Menem was indicted [JURIST report] by the Federal Court in 2009 on corruption charges for overpaying members of his administration from 1988 to 1989. In October 2008 an Argentine court charged [JURIST report] Menem with allegedly covering up evidence related to the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.