Thursday, 28 September 2023
TechCriminal court reopens cases against Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández

Criminal court reopens cases against Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández

BUENOS AIRES (AP) — A higher court ordered on Monday that Argentine vice president and former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner go to trial for alleged illicit association and money laundering, in a case linked to her properties, and in another case for the signing of a judicial cooperation agreement with Iran to clarify the attack against a Jewish community center in 1994.

The Chamber of Cassation, Argentina’s highest criminal court, annulled the dismissals that had been ruled by the oral courts in charge of trying the vice president in 2021.

This resolution will not have immediate effect, since Fernández de Kirchner – president between 2007 and 2015 – can appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice. If the highest court confirms the rulings, the Peronist leader must be tried.

The first case is linked to the rental of hotels and properties owned by the Kirchners to businessmen linked to the public works business. According to the investigation of a first instance judge, this was the mechanism that the Kirchner family used to launder bribe money obtained from public works bidding.

In the other case, Fernández de Kirchner had been prosecuted for the crime of concealing citizens of Iranian origin whom the Argentine justice system accuses of perpetrating the terrorist attack against the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) of Buenos Aires in July 1994. which left 85 dead and more than 300 injured.

The accusation pointed to the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2012 between Argentina and Iran, which the then president presented as a way to unblock the judicial case for the attack, since among other points it allowed suspects to be interrogated abroad. The pact had the support of the Argentine Congress, while Tehran, which always denied its connection with the attack, did not grant parliamentary approval.

Federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman began the cover-up investigation against Fernández de Kirchner and other officials of his government in early 2015. Nisman was found dead in his apartment a day before appearing before a congressional committee to provide details about the complaint. The cause remains under investigation and there are still no culprits.

The vice president, who did not comment on Monday’s rulings, but denies all accusations, was sentenced last December to six years in prison and was disqualified for life from holding public office for a corruption case related to the management of works. public.

Although the ruling is not final, this is the reason that Fernández de Kirchner gave for not running in the October general elections, since she alleges that it is a maneuver by justice to outlaw her.

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