Argentine ex-President Menem could face 7 years in prison

June 13, 2013 23:26

BUENOS AIRES - Former Argentine President Carlos Menem received a seven-year prison sentence for arms smuggling to Croatia and Ecuador in the 1990s, but he will not be jailed unless his fellow senators strip him of immunity, a court said on Thursday.

Menem, now a frail 82-year-old senator, was found guilty in March of being "co-author of the offense of aggravated contraband" in an appeals court decision that overturned a lower court's acquittal two years before.He can appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. In the past, Menem has said he was "completely innocent" and had no idea the weapons shipments he authorized to Venezuela and Panama would be diverted to countries under arms embargoes.

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