Argentina’s top criminal court has confirmed a prison sentence against former president Carlos Menem.

Friday’s ruling ratifies a 2015 sentence of four and a half years for embezzlement.

It also confirmed a sentence of three and a half years against former economy minister Domingo Cavallo for his role in illegal payments to staff that were authorised by Menem during his 1989-1999 presidency.

Menem is currently a senator and that status protects him from being arrested.

Menem and Cavallo deny any wrongdoing.

Both are expected to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Politicians would have to vote on whether they take away Menem’s immunity from arrest if the decision is ratified by the Supreme Court.