Latin America & Caribbean

Argentina: Former leader Cristina Fernandez has assets frozen

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner outside court in Buenos Aires Image copyright AP
Image caption Ms Fernandez served two terms as president, from 2007 to 2015

A judge in Buenos Aires has frozen the assets of former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Ms Fernandez has been accused of making fraudulent foreign currency transactions last year in the final months of her government.

She has denied the allegations and accused the centre-right government of Mauricio Macri of plotting against her.

Some of her closest aides are being investigated for alleged mishandling of public funds.

"The harassment by what I call the 'judicial party' has become ridiculous," Ms Fernandez said in a press conference after appearing in court.

Hundreds of police officers were deployed outside the court building where the hearing took place.

Ms Fernandez was charged in May for allegedly ordering irregular central bank transactions in the US dollar futures market.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Riot police and Ms Fernandez supporters stand outside the court in Buenos Aires

Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio, who is leading the investigation, is a declared opponent of the former president.

Last week he ordered searches on several of her family's properties in the province of Santa Cruz in a separate probe on money laundering.

Ms Fernandez's supporters accuse Mr Macri of political persecution.

Last month, one of Mrs Fernandez's top public works officials, Jose Lopez, was caught throwing bags filled with a total of nearly $9m (£6.7m) over the walls of a monastery in Buenos Aires province.

He was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

Mrs Fernandez was married to the late Argentine President Nestor Kirchner.

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