Argentina’s former president appears in court for corruption trial

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Argentina's former president appears in court for corruption trial

A corruption trial involving Argentina’s former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner began in Buenos Aires.

It came just days after the surprise announcement by Fernandez de Kirchner that she would not be running for president in this year’s elections, but rather as vice-president.

CGTN’s Joel Richards reports.

Kirchner continues to dominate conversations and the headlines in Argentina.

On Tuesday, the former president was in court in Buenos Aires to face corruption charges during her 2007 to 2015 presidency.

The trial is the first of 12 cases facing the ex-president and days after announcing that she will not run for president, as had been widely expected, but for vice-president in the national elections in October.

Kirchner is accused of receiving kickbacks from construction companies after awarding at least 52 highly-inflated public works contracts.

If found guilty she faces up to 10 years in prison. But, as a senator, she has immunity from arrest.

The former president posted on Twitter before the trial and dismissed the allegations as a politically motivated, “smokescreen” that is designed to hurt her campaign for vice president.

On Saturday, Fernandez de Kirchner released a 13-minute video criticizing the economic model of the current government and also announcing that – unexpectedly – she would run for vice-president, on a ticket with presidential candidate Alberto Fernandez.

Alberto Fernandez is former cabinet chief who is one of at least 150 witnesses called in the corruption trial that is expected to last over a year, and will have major ramifications in the political outlook for Argentina.