Argentina: prosecuted for corruption, Cristina Kirchner compares the court to a « firing squad »
Argentine Vice President Cristina Kirchner, being prosecuted for alleged corruption, on Tuesday accused the court trying her of being « a veritable firing squad » as she benefited from a final speech before the judges’ expected decision. for December 6.
« More than a court of law, this court has been a veritable firing squad that began with the incredible tirade of prosecutors Diego Luciani and Sergio Mola, who went out of their way to insult and slander me, » said launched Ms. Kirchner, prosecuted for alleged corruption and fraud in her stronghold of the province of Santa Cruz, in Patagonia (south), during her two presidential terms, between 2007 and 2015.
As she has repeated in the past, the vice president accused prosecutors of “inventing and twisting” the facts and assured that “they have been shown to be false, that they do not didn’t even exist. »
« They slandered, lied and denigrated, (all) against me and our government », she insisted, believing that this trial has « a disciplinary objective » against her « political space », center-left Peronism.
His 20-minute monologue from his office in the presidency of the Senate was broadcast live by all Argentine media as well as on social networks. Supporters of the vice president gathered in front of the Senate, while opponents gathered in front of the Palace of Justice in Buenos Aires.
“Whatever the verdict, for me she is innocent,” Graciela Nadal, an administrative employee, told AFP before the Senate.
“We have long awaited a conviction of those who stole our future,” Carmen Terrero, 65, told AFP outside the court, adding that she wanted to “support the independent and courageous prosecutors”.
At the time, in August, of the requisitions in which were claimed 12 years of prison as well as a life ineligibility, the prosecutor Diego Luciani had « denounced an authentic system of institutional corruption », « probably the biggest operation of corruption that knew the country ».
The other representative of the public prosecutor’s office, Sergio Mola, had mentioned « systematic irregularities in 51 calls for tenders over 12 years ».
Sentences of two to 12 years in prison have been requested for the other 12 defendants, including 12 years against a building contractor, Lorenzo Baez, who was already sentenced last year to 12 years in prison in a separate capital flight case. to tax havens.
The prosecution assessed the damage caused to the state at 5.2 billion pesos ($38 million at the official exchange rate) during this first instance trial which began in May 2019 during which 114 witnesses were heard in 117 hearings.
In a final hearing scheduled for December 6, the floor will be given to four other defendants before the judges’ decision.
Cristina Kirchner, 69, as much loved by her supporters as hated by her opponents, is protected by her immunity as Vice President and President of the Senate until a final decision by the Supreme Court.
The next presidential election will take place in 2023 in Argentina and the figure of the left wing of Peronism has not yet announced its intentions.