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Sergio Schoklender, Argentina Human Rights Figure, Charged With Embezzlement

05/15/12 05:52 PM ET AP

Sergio Scholklender
Sergio Schoklender, the former right hand of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo President Hebe de Bonafini, listens to lawmakers at Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday Sept. 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Rodolfo Pezzoni,DyN)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The longtime operations chief of Argentina's Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo human rights group has been jailed on charges of embezzlement and criminal conspiracy.

Sergio Schoklender was formally charged Tuesday by a judge investigating whether he embezzled more than $156 million that the government gave the group to build housing for the poor.

Judge Norberto Oyarbide also ordered Schoklender's brother Pablo jailed along with an accountant for a construction company they formed.

Schocklender has asked for the right to respond to the charges. In the past, he has blamed the Mothers' founder Hebe de Bonafini for any crimes. She in turn says she was betrayed, and said the full weight of the law should fall on her former protege.

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