Former Argentinian PM Menem acquitted of arms smuggling

By REUTERS
September 14, 2011 01:06

 
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BUENOS AIRES - Former Argentine President Carlos Menem was acquitted on Tuesday of smuggling arms to Croatia and Ecuador in the 1990s during a 10-year presidency remembered for free-market reforms and corruption.

Menem, now a frail, 81-year-old senator, smiled as a judge read out the "not guilty" verdicts on him and 17 others, including his former brother-in-law and presidential advisor, Emir Yoma.

During the nearly three-year trial, Menem said he was "completely innocent" and had no idea the weapons shipments he authorized to Venezuela and Panama would be diverted to countries that were under arms embargoes.

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