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Montevideo, June 21st 2024 - 11:49 UTC

 

 

Criminal complaint filed against Milei for his Spanish trip

Saturday, May 25th 2024 - 10:59 UTC
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Milei apparently used the ARG-01 airplane and other State resources for personal gain Milei apparently used the ARG-01 airplane and other State resources for personal gain

After the Argentine Embassy in Madrid argued that President Javier Milei's recent trip to the Spanish capital was strictly personal, three lawmakers from the opposition Radical Civic Union (UCR) have filed criminal charges against the head of state and a high-ranking official for alleged corruption.

”We filed a complaint against President Milei and Francisco Sánchez (Secretary of Worship) so that they can be investigated for embezzlement and defrauding the State“ for the ”use of public resources for a trip to Spain of a strictly personal nature,“ wrote Congressman Fernando Carbajal on X after signing the documents alongside Pedro Jorge Galimberti and Manuel Ignacio Aguirre.

The case is to be investigated by Buenos Aires' Federal Criminal and Correctional Court No. 4 of Judge Ariel Lijo, Milei's candidate to fill the existing Supreme Court vacancy.

Milei flew the presidential ARG-01 airplane to Madrid and is said to have used other public funds to appear at a convention of rightwing parties hosted by the local Vox, during which he spoke of leftwing politicians who have their wives under investigation for corruption, as is the case of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his wife Begoña Gómez, who were never mentioned by name but that did not stop Madrid from pulling its Ambassador from Buenos Aires.

While in Spain, Milei, whose entourage also included his Presidential Secretary sister Karina Milei, launched his latest book at a publisher's junket, another event not involving the Argentine State.

”It is inadmissible that State resources are used to finance private trips and personal activities, diverting funds that should be destined to the benefit of the citizens,“ Aguirre stressed. ”It is imperative that a thorough investigation be carried out and that action be taken with speed and rigor to clarify these alleged crimes and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice,“ he added.

The plaintiffs also argued that the Libertarian government had sought to sugar-coat the trip with the ”official“ nature it lacked through statements from Presidential Spokesman Manuel Adorni who insisted Milei would also be meeting with Spanish businessmen who were potential investors.

”There is no doubt that this small meeting, arranged in a hurry, was only a crude attempt to give some kind of legal justification to the President's private trip, in order to justify the hundreds of thousands of dollars owned by the National State spent to attend events of a strictly personal nature and for his exclusive benefit,“ the plaintiffs maintained. ”The damage caused to the State is more than relevant“, they added while pointing out that, according to Buenos Aires' La Nación, using the ARG-01 cost around US$ 200,000”.

Milei's “entourage stayed at a 5-star hotel on Madrid's Gran Vía, with suites offered on the Internet for a price range of € 900 to 1400 per night” in addition to “travel expenses, both of the President and the rest of the entourage, whose integration has not yet been duly informed, as well as the total expenses incurred, even though the Presidential spokesperson has been asked for the information,” the submission underlined.

Regarding Worship Secretary Francisco Sánchez's trip, the legislators recalled that a first-class ticket was paid for him with public funds in addition to a generous expenses allowance. Citing the newspaper Clarín, the plane ticket cost between US$ 4,000 and 6,000, and the official was given a € 3,120 per diem for his six-day mission. This Sánchez (not the Spanish one) also made headlines in recent days for his remarks seeking to have the Divorce Law of 1986 repealed.

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