Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner Argentina’s Vice President Was Found Guilty Of Corruption 

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina’s current Vice President, and former President face a 12-year jail term if proven guilty in a public works corruption case. Prosecutor Diego Luciani charged CFK on Monday, August 22, 2022, with allegedly cheating the state and being part of a plan involving the diversion of public monies throughout her two years as president between 2007 and 2015. Luciani referred to the case as “the largest corruption maneuver in the country’s history,” and he also asked the court for a “special life disqualification” that would ban Kirchner from entering the public office for the rest of her life.

Since her testimony in court in 2019, CFK has maintained her denial of the claims. Shortly after the last session, the Vice President claimed on Twitter that she was facing a “media and legal firing squad,” not a constitutional court. She further alleged that the prosecution breached the “open concept of defense in court” by accusing her of offenses that she had never been charged with previously.

An investigation of the allegations leveled against Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is on trial with 12 other people for allegedly ‘defrauding the state’ and ‘diverting public monies during her 2007-2015 presidency.’ The trial started in 2019 as part of an inquiry into whether CFK and her staff preferred businessman Lazaro Baez’s enterprises for dozens of public projects in Patagonia’s southern area. The bulk of these projects, the majority of which belonged to Baez, were subsequently shown to be unfinished or had expensive bids. Baez, who was a Kirchner family loyalist, was eventually convicted of corruption.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

During Monday’s hearing, Prosecutor Diego Luciani said that the state became the ultimate victim of the officials’ alleged crimes. Luciani bemoaned:

“At least 12 persons were engaged in the scam.” Only the coordinated action of all authorities, in collaboration with Lazaro Baez, enabled the maneuver to succeed. These misdeeds have harmed the state.”

The prosecutor subsequently charged CFK with “prioritizing personal advantage above public interest” and “defrauding society” by utilizing her political position. He stated:

“Cristina Fernandez [de Kircher] had the highest position and exploited her abilities and authority to maximize the benefit from this maneuver.”

The plan was labeled “systematic acts of corruption” by Luciani, who stated it was “sponsored and sustained by the country’s senior political leaders.” He further said that the program “washed away all the standards of public procurement” and harmed “the state’s finances significantly.” The prosecutor went on to accuse Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of being the “leader” of the “illicit organization” and leading the procedure to guarantee Baez won the public works bids.

Prosecutor Sergio Mola went on to say that CFK could not have been uninformed of the fraudulent activity that was taking place throughout her term. Mola continued:

“In 51 tenders over a 12-year period, there were persistent anomalies.” The photographic evidence definitely reveals the illegal maneuvers. It’s hard to believe Cristina Fernandez [de Kirchner] was unaware of anything in her office.”

Following the hearing, CFK turned to Twitter to argue that the prosecution had broken the “principle of defense” by bringing up concerns that had never been raised before. Her tweet stated:

“[The prosecution] introduced issues in their indictment that had never been asked in open breach of the concept of defence at trial.”

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

CFK’s lawyer, Gregorio Dalbon, rejected the Vice President’s charges and said that the defense is pursuing the “right to a valid defense at trial.” He stated:

“Prosecutors Luciani and Mola are going beyond the rule of law and creating a media narrative so that society thinks Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was the leader of an illegal group to manage public works.”

The former President also said that she was never given the chance to testify on the new aspects included in the case and that she would continue to defend herself on social media.  With 13 suspects in the dock and the prosecution has rested its case, the defense team will now have 10 working days to present their case. A ruling in the case is expected by the end of the year, although Kirchner is expected to appeal if a final judgment is reached against her. In order for the Vice President’s sentence to be carried out, the Supreme Court must ratify the judgment. Meanwhile, even if she is convicted, CFK will be permitted to run for president in 2023.

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