Argentina: Former planning minister sentenced in rail crash

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<pA court convicted a former Argentine federal planning minister Wednesday of contributing to a deadly 2012 train crash by failing to oversee the operations of commuter railways.

<pJulio De Vido was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison for defrauding the public administration. The court also banned him from ever again holding a state job.

<pDe Vido is already serving time in prison on a corruption case. He was a key official during the administrations of former President Cristina Fernandez and her late husband and predecessor Nestor Kirchner. The couple governed Argentina in 2003-2015.

<pThe latest conviction involved a packed morning commuter train that smashed into a platform at the busy Once station in Buenos Aires on Feb. 22, 2012. More than fifty people died and about 700 were injured in Argentina's deadliest train accident in decades.

<pArgentina's independent auditor general later delivered a blistering report on the causes of the crash, suggesting that the problems are systemic, due to many years of mismanagement, corruption and disrepair.

<pTwo former transportation secretaries were convicted to prison sentences in 2015. The Federal Criminal Court convicted Juan Pablo Schiavi to eight years for defrauding the public administration and involuntary manslaughter because of the high number of deaths. Ricardo Jaime got six years for a defrauding charge.

<pThe train operator and other several officials from the company that oversaw the train line were given sentences ranging from three to nine years.