Latin America & Caribbean

Argentina ex-leader Cristina Fernandez charged with money laundering

Former Argentine president Cristina Fernandez speaks during the conference in Sao Paulo, December 9, 2016 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ms Fernandez says the allegations against her are politically motivated

A judge in Argentina has brought charges of money laundering and corruption against former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her two children.

Two business associates have also been charged in the case and all five are barred from leaving Argentina.

Ms Fernandez, 64, already faces other charges including fraudulently administering state funds.

She has denied wrongdoing and says she is the victim of political persecution.

In a statement on Tuesday, legal officials said Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio had brought formal charges against Ms Fernandez for alleged money laundering in property dealings.

Her daughter, Florencia, and son, Maximo, have also been charged along with businessmen Cristobal Lopez and Lazaro Baez.

About $8m (£6.4m) of Ms Fernandez's assets have been frozen, the statement added.

Last month, a judge ruled that Ms Fernandez, who governed from 2007 to 2015, should stand trial on charges of financial mismanagement while in office.

She is accused of ordering the central bank to sell dollars on the futures market at artificially low prices ahead of a widely expected devaluation of the Argentine peso.

Ms Fernandez also faces separate corruption charges alleging that her government steered public contracts to Mr Baez - a businessman close to her family.

She insists that all the allegations against her are politically motivated and has accused current President Mauricio Macri of plotting against her.

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