Argentina's Kirchner wants rights group to monitor case

Argentine Federal Police officers raid ex-president Cristina Kirchner's vacation home as part of the so-called corruption notebooks case, in El Calafate, Santa Cruz province, on August 25, 2018

Lawyers for Argentine ex-president Cristina Kirchner said Tuesday they will call in human rights observers to counter "violations" by prosecutors investigating her for corruption.

Her defense team plans to ask the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights to send observers to examine the investigation led by prosecutor Claudio Bonadio.

Lawyer Gregorio Dalbon said the investigation into the former president "is violating all legal procedures."

A key complaint is the refusal to allow one of her lawyers to be present at a search of her home last week.

Raids were carried out at three Kirchner residences in Buenos Aires and Patagonia after the Senate voted to temporarily suspend Kirchner's immunity.

"Human rights and due process have been subjugated in one way or another," Dalbon told AFP.

Now leader of the opposition in the Senate, 65-year-old Kirchner was president from 2007-2015.

She is the highest-ranking official being investigated in the so-called corruption notebooks case, which has already ensnared dozens of former government officials and top businessmen.

Prosecutors believe a total of $160 million was paid by business leaders to Kirchner and her supporters in return for state contracts during a 10-year period from 2005-2015.

Kirchner is being investigated in five other cases.

She remains hugely popular and claims her political opponents are trying to derail a possible run for the presidency next year.