Cristina Fernández de Kirchner turned her defense statement in the trial for alleged corruption into an attack against prosecutors and justice in Argentina. The vice president of the country linked the open cases against her to the assassination attempt she suffered three weeks ago, pointing out that “from the judicial sphere, social license is given so that anyone can think and do anything.”
The vice president listed before the Federal Oral Court 2 of Buenos Aires the different acts of violence against her person in this 2022 and how defenseless they have made her feel. Among them, she cited the stone attack on his office in the Senate last March and the attempted murder perpetrated by Fernando Sabag Montiel on September 1. Kirchner also launched darts against the opposition, which has among its advisers one of the defense attorneys of the so-called Banda de los Copitos, accused of planning the attack against him. “Her adviser defends the one who wanted to kill me. I feel somewhat defenseless in this country and with this judiciary,” he stated before the judges.
The statements of the former president took place in the final stretch of the trial against her and former officials of her Administration as a result of irregularities detected in the award of fifty public works in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz, the cradle of Kirchnerism. Kirchner had the right to assume part of her own defense because she is a lawyer. Her statement was one of the most anticipated.
According to prosecutor Diego Luciani, between 2007 and 2015 Kirchner headed one of “the most extraordinary corruption matrixes” through an illicit association aimed at enriching himself by diverting public funds given to businessman Lázaro Báez. This builder, very close to the Kirchners, was sentenced last year to 12 years in prison for money laundering. Luciani requested the same sentence and perpetual disqualification for the former Argentine president.
For more than an hour and a half, Kirchner denied all the accusations against her. He accused the prosecutors of prevarication, whom he asked to investigate this crime and annul their testimonies plagued by “incredible lies” from the judicial file.
As a defense argument, he considered that the trial should not take place because the reported events had already been tried in Santa Cruz and dismissed. “This trial makes a fool of the country,” he warned, referring to the impact it has on Argentina’s international image.
According to Kirchner, who has declared herself to be persecuted in court on numerous occasions, the treatment she receives in court is very different from that of other former Argentine presidents. In his statement, he gave as an example the revocation of the prosecution of Fernando de la Rúa in the case of the violent repression against demonstrators in the center of Buenos Aires on December 19 and 20, 2001, during the serious crisis in the corralito. The vice president cited parts of the Cassation ruling in which the lack of evidence against De la Rúa was confirmed, considering that she did not have “accurate and direct data” on the actions of the security forces, which caused five deaths and dozens of injuries. .
“Didn’t he have accurate data? The television channels were broadcasting the repression live. It happened in Plaza de Mayo. If he didn’t like looking out the window he must have heard the screaming, the flares, the tear gas being fired. Luciani says that I could not ignore what was happening in the province of Santa Cruz. Do they seriously want me to believe that this is not criminal copyright law?” Kirchner asked the members of the court.
Once the arguments of the defense of the thirteen defendants conclude, they will have the right to say their last words and the trial will be ready for sentencing. If there are no surprises, it is expected to be known before the end of the year.
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