Argentina corruption cops search properties of ex-leader Fernandez

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BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine police searched properties of former President Cristina Fernandez on Thursday as part of an investigation into possible corruption during her two-term administration, which ended in December with the inauguration of Mauricio Macri. Authorities are looking for documents related to a case that accuses Fernandez of illegal enrichment using a family real estate company called Los Sauces, state press agency Telam said. Local television showed images of the searches being conducted. The judge and investigators in the case could not be reached for comment. "It has been a while, decades I would say, since we've seen such an abuse of power and political persecution," Fernandez posted on Twitter. The properties in question are located in three different parts of Patagonia: Rio Gallegos, El Calafate and El Chalten, Telam said. Television also broadcast a search of the municipal government office of El Calafate, where Los Sauces is based. In a separate case, Fernandez was indicted in May on charges that she was responsible for central bank irregularities in the futures market. After testifying in that case, she also accused the current administration of political persecution. Macri's government has opened investigations into alleged corruption during Fernandez's 2007-15 presidency. In a bizarre twist earlier this month, one of Fernandez's top public works officials was caught throwing bags filled with nearly $9 million (£6.8 million) over the walls of a monastery in Buenos Aires province. He was arrested on suspicion of money laundering. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi; Writing by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Matthew Lewis)

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