BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Former Argentine President Carlos Menem has been sentenced to seven years in prison for smuggling weapons to Ecuador and Croatia in violation of international embargoes in the 1990s.
The court also banned Menem from holding elective office, and asked the Senate to vote to remove the immunity he has enjoyed for years as senator.
Thursday's sentence is final unless overturned by the Supreme Court, but it's unclear whether senators will vote him out of office. Menem's leadership of Argentina in the 1990s is frequently criticized by President Cristina Fernandez, but as senator he has provided a reliable swing vote on critical issues, and the current president's allies control the Senate.
Given his age of 82, Menem would likely serve his sentence at home.