Justice rejects Cristina Kirchner’s arguments and reinforces request for conviction

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The Argentine justice system continued this Monday (14) the process at a more advanced stage of corruption allegations against vice president Cristina Kirchner.

In practice, the hearing served for prosecutors Diego Luciani and Diego Mola to accept or reject the defense’s allegations. In August, they called for 12 years in prison for the politician, prompting supporters to take a stand in front of her home. Detractors also organized, and days later Cristina was the target of a failed gun attack at the scene.

The process is known as “Vialidad” and is linked to alleged bribery and overpricing of works in the province of Santa Cruz. Former president Néstor Kirchner (1950-2010), today’s vice president and businessman Lázaro Báez are the main accused. Cristina filed a lawsuit against Luciani and Mola for damage to their image and defamation, but the process has not yet started.

With the refusal of the request for annulment of the sentence this Monday, the next step of the action should take place later this year, when the Justice will confirm or not the sentence to 12 years in prison of the policy. There are, however, some instances that would separate Cristina, for now, from a cell.

First, because she is vice president, she will have immunity until, at least, December 10 of next year, when her term ends. To be judged before that by the Supreme Court, from this action, Congress would have to vote an impeachment of its functions – not only are there not enough votes for that today, but politics is also the leader of the Senate.

In any case, any condemnation would have strong symbolic value in the upcoming elections. There are still no clear candidates for the 2023 presidential race, but some names are already outlined. On the government side, Peronists are divided between the reelection of Alberto Fernández, the return of Cristina or a name of the new generation; in this one, the chancellor Santiago Cafiero, linked to the “Albertist” wing, are cited, the minister of the Interior, Wado de Pedro, and the governor of the province of Buenos Aires, Axel Kicillof, faithful Kirchnerists.

This group knows that if Cristina is highly rejected, they can appoint someone to lead the ticket, as they did in 2019 with Fernández. As their relationship is going through a crisis, these other names gain space, which also include Sergio Massa, called in August to try to contain inflation and save the management’s popularity – in the short term, he is having some success.

Since the beginning of the accusations, Cristina has already managed to suspend or annul three of the seven cases to which she responded. The “Vialidad” is the one that advances more quickly. Luciani said on Monday that the annulment requests were vetoed in their entirety. 🇧🇷[A defesa] nothing has brought doubts to the evidence already raised to prosecute the former president.”

He also accused the policy of trying to install a “climate of illegality” in the process to, later on, overturn it by appealing to the Supreme Court.

Luciani also stated that he has been receiving threats, disqualifications and attacks. “It’s something that has never happened in my life in all the years I’ve been working as a prosecutor. We demand a return to good manners and the principles that govern the courts.”

In December, in addition to the final chapters of the “Vialidad” trial, hearings on the trial of Cristina’s assassination attempt should begin, for which the leaders of the so-called “cotton candy gang”, Fernando Sabag Montiel, Brenda Uliarte and more will respond. two alleged accomplices.

Cristina’s defense thesis is that the “copitos” (the “cotton candy gang”) were linked to a businessman linked to former president Mauricio Macri, which would make the case a political crime. The lawyers still defend that young people from the extreme right linked to the Federal Revolution group should be included in the action — they would also be financed by Nicolás Caputo, co-founder of PRO, Macri’s party.

The vice president tries a maneuver to change the judge leading the case, María Eugenia Capuchetti, for considering her partial.

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