The allegations, made by former Baez associates in televised interviews with investigative journalist Jorge Lanata, have made for sensational television in Argentina, and a judge agreed to open a formal investigation of Baez and his associates.
Lanata struck closer still to the president on Sunday night, interviewing Kirchner’s former secretary, Miriam Quiroga, who described bags full of cash in the Casa Rosada. She said they were delivered to the southern province of Santa Cruz, where Baez based his business empire and the Kirchners have several homes. Quiroga also alleged that the Kirchners had vaults built to hold the cash.
Judge Julian Ercolini subpoenaed Quiroga to testify in the widening criminal investigation by prosecutor Guillermo Marijuan, and Attorney General Alejandra Gils Carbo ordered additional police protection for the prosecutor, who reported receiving at least two threats that his young daughters will be killed if he doesn’t drop the probe.
Meanwhile, Fernandez faced a new challenge on her left flank: the launching Tuesday of a new political party by her former ally, union boss Hugo Moyano, who has become one of her toughest critics. Moyano plans to run lists of candidates under his ‘‘Culture, Education and Jobs’’ banner in October’s midterm elections.
Associated Press writer Almudena Calatrava contributed to this report.