Judge Claudio Bonadio ordered pre-trial detention for former Argentine President and Senator Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner for "illicit association", being accused of having received bribes from public works entrepreneurs during the Kirchner governments. At the moment, she will not be detained since being a senator grants her immunity, according to the Argentine media outlet Todo Noticias.
The arrest of the former president and senator will depend on whether two-thirds of the legislators vote to lift her immunity, according to the agency EFE.
Prosecutors are accusing Fernandez of leading a broad corruption network that involved politicians and businessmen during her two presidential administrations (2007-2015), which followed that of her late husband, Nestor Kirchner (2003-2007).
The case against Fernandez is based on vague evidence published in an exposé by Argentine newspaper La Nacion, which published photocopies of eight notebooks belonging to Oscar Centeno, the driver of Julio de Vido, federal planning and public investment minister between 2003 and 2015, during the Kirchner and Fernandez administrations.
According to the newspaper, the driver kept records of alleged bags of money that business executives gave to the Kirchner administration. CFK has repeatedly denied the claims of corruption.
The news comes a day after the former president released a video Sunday from her Calafate country house condemning last month’s police raids made on her three homes in connection to the ‘Bribery Notebooks’ corruption case against her.
Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio also asked for Fernandez's impeachment, which seems unlikely to be validated by the upper house.
Although the senate of the South American country allows for the judge to level some action against her, the precedent from previous cases shows how difficult it is for lawmakers to approve terminating Fernandez's immunity without a final judgment against her.