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Argentine judge orders arrest of former minister


14:40, July 13, 2013

BUENOS AIRES, July 12 (Xinhua) -- An Argentine federal judge has ordered the arrest and pretrial detention of former Transportation Minister Ricardo Jaime on fraud charges.

Judge Claudio Bonadio on Friday also ordered the seizure of property owned by Jaime valued at 2 million Argentine pesos (368,600 U.S. dollars).

Bonadio considered Jaime legally responsible for fraud against the public administration and non-fulfillment of his duties on bidding transactions involving the Belgrano Cargas Railway.

In a letter Jaime wrote to Luigi Capelli, president of Sociedad Operadora de Emergencia (SOESA), which manages the Belgrano Cargas Railway, Jaime reportedly demanded an extra 2 million pesos payment.

SOESA is a consortium consisting of an Argentine railways trade union and several Argentine companies.

According to sources, Jaime is reportedly believed to be involved in more than 20 criminal cases, including one related to a railway accident that killed 52 people in Buenos Aires in February.

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