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Antonini allegedly knew his way around Bs. As. Casa Rosada

Friday, December 21st 2007 - 20:00 UTC
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The man who left behind the cash stuffed suicase The man who left behind the cash stuffed suicase

US-Venezuelan businessman Guido Antonini Wilson, who in August attempted to introduce to Argentina an undeclared suitcase full of cash, was reportedly seen two days later at Government House in Buenos Aires, an Argentine prosecutor said on Thursday.

Argentine and Venezuelan officials vehemently denounced United States prosecutors' allegations in Miami that Antonini was bringing Venezuelan government contributions to the campaign of presidential candidate Cristina Kirchner, who won Argentina's October 28 election. Officials in both countries say that Washington is using its courts to undermine them by falsely claiming they are linked to the 800,000 dollars seized from Antonini on arrival in Buenos Aires on August 4 aboard a charter flight with state energy company officials from both countries. In remarks that seemed addressed to Washington, Cristina Kirchner denounced a "garbage operation" against her administration and Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana told US Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne that Argentina had been "unfairly offended" by US prosecutors' charges. However speaking to Buenos Aires broadcasting stations, Argentine Federal Prosecutor Luz Rivas Diez said a witness testified that she saw Antonini inside the Government House (Casa Rosada) on August 6 during a ceremony celebrating an energy agreement with Venezuela. Argentina's president at the time was Mrs. Kirchner's husband, Néstor Kirchner. Victoria Beresziuk, secretary to Argentine oil company official Claudio Uberti, who chartered the flight and was later sackec, testified that she spotted Antonini through an open door, "apparently with others for a kind of toast or celebration," said the prosecutor, who is investigating Antonini for suspected smuggling and money-laundering. Despite seizing the undeclared cash, Argentine officials failed to detain Antonini at the airport who flew to Montevideo and from there on to Miami. Argentine officials said in August that Antonini left the country a day before Beresziuk said she saw him at Government House.

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

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