Argentina: CFK likens court trying her to “a firing squad”
Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) likened the court to a firing squad in her “Last Words” Tuesday before judgment is passed in the case against her for alleged acts of corruption during her two-term presidency (2008-2015) regarding spending by the National Highway Administration (DNV).
When I spoke of lawfare I was very generous, she said from her National Senate office. The verdict by the Oral Federal Court 2 is due on Dec. 6. Unions have pledged to go on strike if she is convicted, claiming we don’t want another Lula, in reference to former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva spending over a year in jail after being convicted for corruption in a ruling that was later overturned, thus allowing him to run again and eventually win the elections whereby he will return to power Jan. 1.
CFK spoke for little over half an hour Tuesday. I thought that never a judicial term was so adequate to define this trial and this court, she said about the judiciary jargon use of the expression last words.
This court is a firing squad. For 20 days they lied, distorted the facts, and the plea of Prosecutor [Diego] Luciani ends just the same day 50 years after a historical firing squad, she went on.
After Luciani’s plea, a person tried to kill me. The shot did not go off, the woman who accompanied him followed Prosecutor Luciani on [social] networks. A curious coincidence, CFK insisted.
”You will say: ‘How exaggerated!’. But 12 days after that September 1, the newspaper Clarín comes out with this cover: The bullet that did not come out and the ruling that will come out. When I am accused in Comodoro Py [the Buenos Aires Street where the criminal court is localted], the figure of unlawful association and preventive imprisonment come out at will, oriented towards this political space (Frente de Todos) and me, she went on.
However, when I go as a victim, it is noticeable that the figure of illicit association does not exist. In Comodoro Py perhaps it is not considered that my death or murder is not a figure of public commotion, she argued.
What is sought with the stigmatization is that no one will ever again dare to do the things we did, such as paying the Fund, recovering the AFJP [privately-owned administration of pension funds], and also YPF, she added.
Do you seriously believe that our government or our governments committed fraud against the public administration, a government that delivered a country out of debt when people’s living conditions were much higher than today? she asked her potential viewers.
However, those who brought the [International Monetary Fund] IMF and 45 billion dollars that we do not know where they are, they have no problem. They are in Qatar watching the World Cup, she said in an implicit reference to former President Mauricio Macri.
CFK then brought up the concept of ‘Judiciary Party’: When from the institutions a judiciary party is formed to replace the Military Party, today it fulfills that role, to block expressions in democracy and to stigmatize and discipline the political leaders in Argentina, which the so-called movement could not achieve without help from news networks. The media leg is fundamental so that it could be carried out as it happened during the military period. Always that complicity between the Judiciary, the media, and the anti-democratic sectors, CFK underlined.
The military party were the military, those who supported them were the businessmen and the media who kept silent and were not punished; those who were punished were those who shed blood, she argued.
CFK also published on social media what she said were the Twenty Lies” of the DNV case.
She argued that decisions regarding public investment are the exclusive responsibility of the political bodies and there is no legal rule that sets limits on how they should be distributed. She added that the process complied with all legal and financial controls and had the intervention of all the competent offices.
CKF also denied that Congress had marginal participation in the approval of the budget laws and insisted lawmakers were never coerced to blindly vote in favor of the budget bills sent from the Executive between 2004 and 2015.
She also pointed out that some of the works under questioning were proposed by the opposition during the 2010 and 2011 fiscal years and voted favorably by opposition lawmakers as well as by 2019 Vice-Presidential candidate Miguel Ángel Pichetto, who at that time headed the ruling party’s senate bloc before switching parties.
In subsequent arguments, CFK described how the funds had been established during governments before hers or that of her late husband and denied any pressure on any official to redirect economic resources in favor of businessman Lázaro Báez.
CFK then underlined that decisions adopted in the area of Planning and at the DNV hinged on authorizations expressly granted by the Cabinet Chief.
Regarding the illegal ties between her, her husband, and Báez she insisted that those allegations had already been ruled out by other courts. She hinted they should stand as res judicata.
She then went into details regarding every operation under questioning and mentioned what she claimed were the right explanations for each controversy.
CFK also underlined that similar deals went unquestioned when they were made between businessman Ángelo Calcaterra and Macri while pointing out that the alleged overpricing had never been corroborated by expert testimony since the prosecution had never bothered to request such evidence, while the only such assessment had been offered by the defense.
Finally, CFK stated that the works were not unreasonably delayed, nor did they present construction deficiencies.