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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 July 2007, 18:40 GMT 19:40 UK
Argentine minister in cash probe
Argentina's Economy Minister Felisa Miceli
Mrs Miceli said she had been naive and clumsy in handling the matter
Argentina's economy minister has acknowledged storing $64,000 (47,000 euros; 32,000) in her office bathroom, the subject of a judicial inquiry.

Felisa Miceli told Argentine media that she had made a "naive" mistake, but strongly denied committing any crime.

Mrs Miceli said the cash had been lent to her by her brother to buy a house.

The case has caused embarrassment for the government in Argentina, where tax evasion is common and officials are often suspected of corruption.

In late June, local media reported police had found a large amount of cash, in both pesos and dollars, stored in a bathroom cabinet inside Mrs Miceli's office at the Economy Ministry.

In newspaper interviews, Mrs Miceli said the cash had been lent to her to buy a house in the capital, Buenos Aires.

"I was naive, clumsy. It was a mistake... there could have been negligence but I am sure I haven't committed any crime," she was quoted as saying by Clarin daily.

La Nacion quoted Mrs Miceli as saying the affair "makes me look suspicious and that truly hurts. The situation is much more simple and normal".

Mrs Miceli was appointed the country's first female economy minister in November 2005.




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