Prosecutor seeks 12-year sentence for Argentina’s VP

cristina kirchner
Vice President Cristina Kirchner of Argentina. Photo: Ymphotos/Shutterstock

A federal prosecutor in Argentina on Monday requested a 12-year prison sentence for Vice President Cristina Kirchner, as well as her permanent ineligibility to any public office.

The 69-year-old Ms. Kirchner is accused of taking part in a system that rigged public procurement processes in the southernmost region of Patagonia — the political birthplace of the Kirchner family. This fraudulent scheme allegedly siphoned public funds during Ms. Kirchner’s presidency, between 2007 and 2015.

A verdict is expected in the coming months. 

It is unlikely that Ms. Kirchner will actually serve jail time. As an elected senator — and also Senate President while serving as VP — she is currently shielded by parliamentary immunity. To lose that privilege, she would have to be found guilty by the Supreme Court. Her term ends in December 2023, but by then, she will be 70 — and Argentina’s penal code does not require prison time for over-70s, merely house arrest. 

President Alberto Fernández condemned Prosecutor Diego Luciani’s decision, saying his vice president is the victim of “judicial and mediatic persecution.”