UPDATE - Court Sentences Argentine Vice President To 6 Years In Prison, Bans Her From Public Office

BUENOS AIRES (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 07th December, 2022) The court of first instance sentenced the vice-president of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, in the case of corruption to six years in prison and deprived her of the right to hold public office for life.

"To sentence Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to six years for fraud," the judge's verdict read.

In late August, the prosecutor requested a sentence of 12 years in prison for Kirchner. She is accused of corruption during her tenure as president during infrastructure work in the province of Santa Cruz in favor of entrepreneur Lazaro Baez. In addition, the prosecutor demanded to deprive Kirchner of the right to hold public office for life.

Other defendants also received prison terms, including Baez himself and several ex-officials.

The vice president has repeatedly declared her innocence. She previously called her trial a "firing squad."

Argentine criminal defense lawyer Flavio Andres Garisoine told Sputnik that Kirchner, despite her sentence, could run in the next presidential election in the country as not all the courts have passed the verdict and the sentence is not final yet.

"This is only the first instance. She can file an appeal, consideration of which can (take) until the end of next year. Then she will be able to appeal to the Supreme Court of Argentina... If her appeal is accepted, the Supreme Court has no specific deadlines for the consideration (of the case)," the lawyer said, adding: "Therefore, she can be a candidate and run in elections."

The lawyer added that even if the verdict is approved by all the instances, Kirchner, who is now 69, would turn 70 by that time. In this case, in accordance with Argentine law, she would serve her sentence at home, the lawyer said.

The prosecution intends to appeal the decision of the court of the first instance to sentence Kirchner to six years in prison, Argentine broadcaster TN reported on Tuesday.