BUENOS AIRES — Carlos Saúl Menem, the former Argentine president, was convicted and sentenced on Tuesday to more than four years in prison for overseeing the embezzlement of public funds to pay bonuses to government officials during his presidency in the 1990s.
A court in Buenos Aires handed down the sentence of four and a half years after finding that Mr. Menem had devised a scheme in which money set aside for an intelligence agency was periodically funneled away to pay what the prosecution said was a total of $466 million to ministers and other government workers on top of their regular salaries, according to local news reports on the case. Mr. Menem was never accused of taking any of the embezzled funds for himself.
Mr. Menem’s lawyer said he would appeal the conviction, which is to be finalized at a hearing in March. Mr. Menem has congressional immunity in the Senate until December 2017, so even if the appeal is rejected, he will not serve a prison sentence or house arrest, said Martín Böhmer, an Argentine law professor.
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