At the end of the pleadings phase carried out by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Argentina against the Vice-President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, in the trial for alleged irregularities in the awarding of public work, known as the Vialidad Case, the Attorney General, Diego Luciani, requested a sentence of 12 years of effective imprisonment and perpetual disqualification from holding public office against Fernández, who was governing the country at the time of the facts. In addition, he has requested the confiscation of assets involved in the crimes for a total of almost US$ 1 billion.
The investigation seeks to establish whether Fernandez and other former officials of her administration favored the firms of businessman Lazaro Baez when bidding for dozens of public works in Santa Cruz (Patagonia), many of which may have been overpriced or not completed. Many experts suspect that the allegedly diverted capital would have returned to the Kirchner family through their companies.
Thus, the Argentine vice-president is accused together with the former officials of crimes of fraudulent administration to the detriment of the State and of leading an illicit association to divert public funds during their terms of office, between 2007 and 2015.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office estimates at 5,231 million Argentine pesos (the US $38 million 200 thousand) the amount defrauded by a network that also splashes the vice-president’s late husband, Néstor Kirchner, and advisors of her government, such as former minister Julio de Vido.
Prosecutor Diego Luciani told La Nación newspaper that Cristina Fernández’s status as President of the Nation at the time of the facts, “makes her have defrauded the State and her voters”, since “she interposed her personal interest over the public interest”.
She announced on Twitter that she requested to testify again this Wednesday, given that the prosecutors “mounted in their accusation issues that had never been raised”. And on Tuesday, August 23, she gave a speech through social networks from her office in the Senate, of which she is President, where she said that “this is not a trial of Cristina Fernández, this is a trial of Peronism, of national and popular governments”, in addition to regretting the “political and media persecution” against her.
For his part, through a press release, President Alberto Fernández said that “the National Government condemns the judicial and media persecution against Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner”, and that none of the acts attributed to the former President have been proven”.
The closing arguments of the defenses are scheduled to begin on September 5 and the sentence is expected to be known in December. However, Fernández could appeal it to higher courts, which would delay the final verdict for years.
In addition, it must be taken into account that Fernandez has immunity for his positions.
Image: La Tercera