A woman stands in front of a portrait of former Planning Minister Julio De Vido as she waits for the sentence on the trial against him on corruption charges for his responsibility in the 2012 Once train station crash outside a Federal Justice building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 10, 2018. (REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci)

BUENOS AIRES: A former transport minister has been jailed for almost six years in Argentina for his role in a 2012 train crash that killed 51 people, court officials said on Wednesday.

Julio De Vido was convicted of defrauding the state by siphoning money from public works projects, indirectly leading to the wreckage.

The 68-year-old, who was a planning minister with responsibility for transport during the 2007-2015 administration of former president Cristina Kirchner, says he is the victim of political persecution.

He was already in prison as part of a sweeping anti-corruption investigation.

The disaster unfolded on February 22, 2012 when a passenger train crashed into the retaining wall at the end of the platform in a terminal in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires.

The scandal led Kirchner to renationalize and modernize the railway service.

Kirchner, 65, and her late husband, Nestor, whom she succeeded as president in 2007, are suspected of having accepted millions of dollars in bribes from businessmen in exchange for public works contracts.

De Vido and his deputy Jose Lopez managed the federal government’s public works projects under the Kirchners and are among more than a dozen former government officials, as well as 30 elite businessman, implicated in the case

They were the only two ministers to survive the various cabinet reshuffles across the couple’s 12 years in power.

Relatives of victims of the 2012 Once train station crash hold signs that read "Justice" and portraits of the victims, inside a court at a Federal Justice building as they attend the sentence hearing of former Planning Minister Julio De Vido on corruption charges for his responsibility in the crash, in Buenos Aires, Argentina October 10, 2018. (REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci)

109 reads

Related Articles

Most Read Stories by