The Federal Oral Court 2 (TOF 2), which is carrying out the trial for the alleged corruption in public works in favor of Lázaro Báez and whose main defendant is Cristina Kirchner, was going to cite a testimonial statement in the second stage of the year Alberto Fernández and Sergio Massa, among other former Chief of Staff. But the defense of the vice, in charge of Carlos Beraldi, asked that the summons be postponed until the hearings can be held in person.
With more than 150 witnesses ahead, the first corruption trial against Cristina Kirchner seeks to advance in a next block of testimonial statements, which will include the chief of staff who had the Kirchner administration for twelve years. That includes the current president Alberto Fernández, and the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Sergio Massa, as requested at the time by the defense of the vice president.
The trial started two years ago. With thirteen defendants, the vice is the main defendant: is processed as head of the illicit association that defrauded the State By directing the public road works in favor of Báez, it upholds the fiscal requirement after analyzing 51 bids awarded to Grupo Austral.
In addition to Cristina, Judge Julián Ercolini prosecuted Julio De Vido, José López, Carlos Kirchner, Nelson Periotti (among other former officials) and Báez, who rreceived fifty contracts “plagued by administrative irregularities, overpricing and lack of controls”.
Justice maintains that a “corruption maneuver” was established by the Government and state agencies linked to public works, with whom “a criminal organization was set up” for the “theft of public funds through the discretionary allocation of practically 80 % of the road works in favor of Lázaro Báez “: they were 51 contracts for more than 46 billion pesos.
A few days after assuming as vice president, Cristina’s was the last of the inquiries that were taken at the trial, after which the testimony stage began. The Court chaired by Judge Jorge Gorini accepted the suggestions of the defendants to assemble the list of 180 witnesses, which was inaugurated by Margarita Stolbizer before the start of the summer fair.
“They are going to have a problem if they call the former chiefs of staff, because they are going to have to call the President of the Republic. But it will be interesting to hear it, ”said Cristina Kirchner during her statement of inquiry regarding President Fernández.
During the trial offer, Alberto Fernández was one of the main witnesses that Cristina requested. When he made this request, the possibility of electing him as the presidential candidate for the past elections was far away.
The TOF 2 – made up of judges Jorge Gorini, Andrés Basso and Rodrigo Giménez Uriburu – informed the defenders that once the round of testimonial statements that is now being conducted – with officials from the AFIP and DGI – will begin with another block of witnesses. .
The following will be summoned to testify at the trial against Cristina Kirchner: Sergio Massa, Juan Manuel Abal Medina, Jorge Capitanich, Carlos Zannini, Aníbal Fernández and Alberto Fernández.
Starting with the President of the Nation, most hold a government post: Zannini is the Procurator of the Treasury, Aníbal Fernández is the controller of the Río Turbio Carboniferous Sites (YCRT), Massa is the president of the Chamber of Deputies.
The doubt that persists in the Federal Courts is if an eventual statement by the President could be conditioned on the moment at which he was suggested as a witness, and the current political situation. As the main authority in the country, Alberto Fernández has the possibility of respond in writing and not show up at trial.
Former Chief of Staff K had criticized the trial, calling it a legal jerk. In addition, he questioned the judges who investigated the former president – even Ercolini who brought the case forward – and said that they were going to “have to give explanations”. The former President’s criticisms during her inquest went further: she accused TOF 2 of responding to the lawfare and of “have the sentence written.”
Faced with this scenario, and in the middle of an electoral year, Cristina’s lawyer requested that said summons to witness testimony sIt is postponed until “as long as it can be substantiated in person”. However, because of the position they hold, witnesses have the option of testifying in writing.
The former chief of staff are on the list of witnesses proposed by the vice president herself. The request responds to one of the central points of the defense of Cristina Kirchner, who denies any act of corruption that has had as a protagonist her former business partner, Lázaro Báez, sentenced to 12 years for money laundering.