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Montevideo, December 9th 2021 - 07:18 UTC



Menem arrives in La Rioja Wednesday

Tuesday, December 21st 2004 - 20:00 UTC
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Former Argentine president Carlos Menem who resides in Chile, will be returning to his home province of La Rioja this Wednesday following the acceptance by a federal Judge of the proposed bail conditions, reported his nephew Congressman Adrian Menem.

Federal Judge Norberto Oyarbide imposed a three million pesos bail (1,1 million US dollars) to lift the international capture order against Mr. Menem who thus will be able to return to Argentina.

Family and friends have come up with personal real estate as guarantee, including the Menem's winery and olive groves in La Rioja.

Mr. Menem has been accused of several corruption charges during his ten years as Argentina's president as well as having secret accounts in Swiss banks where the money allegedly was hidden, but so far no hard evidence has been found.

In coincidence with the bail agreement, Mr. Menem's defence published in the Buenos Aires press a release with quotes from a letter sent by a Swiss federal Judge "conclusively" stating that Mr. Menem "does not have or did have in Switzerland bank accounts with operations during his ten years as president".

The letter signed by Swiss Judge Christine Junod is dated September 30, 2004 and was sent under the framework of "judicial collaboration with Argentina", apparently emphasizing that "no account of that kind has been identified".

Argentine Judge Oyarbide interviewed by the Buenos Aires press Monday morning said he ignored the existence of such a letter and before further comments he would have to check the "authenticity of the evidence", for which there are "quick mechanisms to give credit to such statement".

However Judge Oyarbide admitted that if the Swiss accounts are inexistent the whole investigation will fall through.

After eight months in exile, Mr. Menem is scheduled to arrive in a private jet Wednesday evening at 20:00 hours in La Rioja airport.

Judge Oyarbide investigating is based in Mr. Menem's alleged "malicious omission" for not having declared a Swiss account with 600,000 US dollars which are a compensation paid by the Argentine government for the several years he was jailed during the military dictatorship.

However, Mr. Menem has always alleged the Swiss account figures under the name of his children.

The current Argentine administration of President Kirchner, who became president after Mr. Menem did not show up for the runoff vote in March 2003, has consistently attacked and blamed the ten years of former president Carlos Menem for all the problems currently faced by Argentina.

Categories: Mercosur.

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