Latin America & Caribbean

Argentina's ex-leader Carlos Menem back on trial in tax case

Carlos Menem in the Argentine Senate, 22 December 2011 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Carlos Menem says he meant no harm by omitting some of his wealth from the tax returns

Former President Carlos Menem has appeared in an Argentine court accused of falsifying his tax returns.

Prosecutors in Buenos Aires say he hid from the tax authorities bank accounts with millions of dollars, as well as two light aircraft, properties, cars and stocks.

He called the charges "unfounded".

Menem, 83, was sentenced in June to seven years in prison for trafficking weapons abroad while he was in office in the 1990s.

But he remains free because, as he is currently a senator, he enjoys parliamentary immunity.

The prosecution maintains that he was dishonest about his tax returns of the year 2000, by failing to report two bank accounts - including one with $6m (£3.9m) - two light aircraft, stocks, car and properties.

But the former president claims he meant no harm by omitting some of his wealth from the tax returns.

He faces six years in prison if convicted.

On 13 June, Menem was found guilty of illegally selling weapons and ammunition to Ecuador and Croatia during his 1989-1999 presidency.

Both countries were under arms embargoes at the time.

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