Chile's Army Chief, General Ricardo Martínez Menanteau, has turned in his resignation a day before testifying in the case known as Milicogate or Army Fraud.
Milicogate is a case of alleged diversion of public funds from the Reserved Copper Law perpetrated by members of the Chilean Army. The case was disclosed by the newspaper The Clinic in 2015.
Martínez Menanteau is to appear before Martial Court Justice Romy Rutherford, who is in charge of the investigation.
According to local media, the prosecution is charging over 50 officers of diverting Army funds for some 6.3 billion pesos (US$ 7.8 million).
Martinez Menanteau claimed he was not responsible for the malfeasances pinned down on him, and that his conduct has always conformed to the current regulations and that he was submitting his resignation out of respect for his comrades-in-arms.
He added that he will make every effort to prove his innocence, and questioned the Military Justice by saying that he should have the presumption of innocence, which every citizen enjoys, but which in practice applies to some and not to all.
After questioning, Justice Rutherford might order his arrest for at least five days before deciding whether to prosecute him or not, as she did when investigating General Oscar Izurieta, accused of embezzling public funds and falsifying military documents.
According to press reports, Army officers allowed for disbursements in excess of what was later spent for operational purchases, keeping the differences for themselves.
Martínez Menanteau was due to be succeeded by General Javier Iturriaga when President-elect Gabriel Boric takes office.