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  HOME | Argentina

Former Argentine President Testifies in Case of Death of Menemís Son

BUENOS AIRES Ė Former Argentine president Cristina Fernandez testified on Thursday in the case of the 1995 death of the son of former head of state Carlos Menem, judicial officials said.

Federal Judge Carlos Villafuerte, who in May summoned Fernandez as a witness along with all other living former presidents who governed Argentina after Menem, is seeking to determine if any of them were aware of any details of Carlos Menem, Jr.ís death in an apparent helicopter crash 21 years ago.

He summoned those witnesses after Menem, whose obligation to maintain state secrets had been lifted by Congress, testified in court that same month that late former Foreign Minister Guido Di Tella had told him that the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah killed his son.

Fernando de la Rua, who governed from 1999-2001; Ramon Puerta and Adolfo Rodriguez Saa, both in office in 2001; Eduardo CamaŮo, who governed from 2001-2002; and Eduardo Duhalde, in office from 2002-2003, testified before the judge prior to Fernandez.

Fernandez, who governed from 2007 to 2015, testified in the southern city of Rio Gallegos, where she lives.

The case returned to the public eye in 2014, when Memen, Jr.ís mother, Zulema Yoma, said her ex-husband had told her in private that her son had not died in an accident but instead had been shot in the head and that there had been a cover-up.

Menemís ex-wife, who has consistently maintained that no accident occurred, also said later that Fernandez had told her on one occasion that her son had been the target of an attack.

Fernandez was also summoned Thursday to appear in court on Nov. 25 in a separate case pertaining to an alleged scheme to prop up the peso through the sale of dollar futures contracts at below-market rates by the Central Bank.

Those transactions in the waning days of her presidency cost the state around 57 billion pesos ($3.37 billion at the current exchange rate), federal Judge Claudio Bonadio has said.

 

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