Ex-Argentine president guilty in arms case

March 8, 2013 at 5:47 PM

BUENOS AIRES, March 8 (UPI) -- Former Argentine President Carlos Saul Menem and former Defense Minister Oscar Camillion were convicted Friday of trafficking arms to Croatia and Ecuador.

Menem, 82, who was president from 1989 to 1999, could receive a prison term as long as 15 years, the Buenos Aires Herald reported. But as long as he remains in the Senate, he is immune from imprisonment.

The charges against Menem and Camillion involve weapons that were supposed to be shipped to Venezuela and Panama while Menem was president. Instead, prosecutors said, they were sent to Croatia in 1991 during the violent breakup of Yugoslavia, and to Ecuador in 1995 when the country was involved in a border dispute with Peru.

Menem denied the charges, saying he signed export decrees for Panama and Venezuela.

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