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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 December, 2003, 08:11 GMT
Menem charged over Swiss account
Carlos Menem
Menem previously denied the account's existence
Former Argentine president Carlos Menem has been charged with tax fraud for failing to declare a Swiss bank account containing $600,000.

He only admitted to having the account last year after repeatedly denying its existence.

Mr Menem could be banned from public office if found guilty.

He has said the account was opened in 1986 with $200,000 from a legal settlement he won after being imprisoned as a political prisoner.

Interest gains

Mr Menem said the account is legal and that the interest earned on the money meant the sum had grown to $600,000.

Argentine prosecutors are investigating the origins of the money.

Mr Menem, 74, ran for president earlier this year but pulled out after the first round.

An Argentine judge in August had dropped charges against him which related to arms sales.

He had been freed from house arrest in November 2001 after the Supreme Court ruled prosecutors had failed to prove accusations that he headed an "illicit association" dealing in weapons.

His presidency from 1989 to 1999 was plagued by corruption scandals.

Menem arms charges dropped
28 Aug 03  |  Americas
Menem probe to speed up
13 Jun 03  |  Americas
Menem pulls out of Argentina race
15 May 03  |  Americas
Menem protests his innocence
06 Jun 01  |  Americas
Menem marries his beauty queen
26 May 01  |  Americas
Profile: Carlos Menem
22 Apr 03  |  Americas

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