Argentine President Mauricio Macri denies hiding assets | News | DW | 08.04.2016
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Argentine President Mauricio Macri denies hiding assets

The Argentine president has denied making "malicious omissions" in his asset declarations. The Panama Papers appear to show that the Latin American leader has hidden offshore accounts.

On Thursday, investigators in Argentina said they wanted to probe President Mauricio Macri in connection with data leaked from a Panamanian law firm.

Macri's name reportedly appears as the director of an offshore holding company. The state prosecutor wants to investigate whether the president has wilfully omitted information in his tax returns, a statement from the prosecutor's office said.

A judge must rule whether to allow an investigation to proceed.

Macri went on Argentine television to deny any wrongdoing and vowed to answer questions in the courtroom. "I did not receive any payment for acting as a director (of offshore companies). Tomorrow I will present myself before the court with all information necessary for the judge to verify that what I have done is correct," Macri said in a televised address broadcast Thursday.

"I am calm. I have obeyed the law. I have nothing to hide," Macri said.

Embarrassing leak

Logo Mossack Fonseca

Although not illegal in themselves, offshore financial transactions may be used to conceal misappropriated or politically inconvenient wealth

The Panama Papers - about 11.5 million documents on offshore dealings leaked from the law firm Mossack Fonseca - have illuminated the secret finances of a host of powerful politicians, celebrities and sports stars.

Macri is listed as a director at two offshore shell companies. He did not list either in his financial declarations when he became Buenos Aires mayor in 2007 or after he was elected president last year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping, two other leaders whom reporters have tied to offshore assets, have been implicated only via their close associates. British Prime Minister David Cameron was also listed as a former offshore asset holder; he denies any tax-dodging.

jar/jm (AFP, dpa)

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