A court of appeal in Argentina ruled this Monday against the country’s vice president, Cristina Fernández, in two high-profile cases, one for alleged money laundering and another for the signing of a memorandum with Iran during his Government (2007-2015), for which he could be subjected to an oral trial.
The Federal Chamber of Criminal Cassation revoked the dismissal of the vice president issued in November 2021 by the Federal Oral Court (TOF) 5 in the so-called Hotesur-Los Sauces case. According to the ruling to which EFE had access, the highest criminal court in Argentina ordered compliance with the pending processes in this case, which was about to begin the oral trial when Cristina Fernández, her son, deputy Máximo Kirchner, and the businessman Lázaro Báez, among others, were dismissed. The chamber resolved, however, to reject the request of the Prosecutor’s Office to revoke the dismissal of the vice president’s daughter, Florencia Kirchner.
In the so-called Hotesur-Los Sauces case, which bears the name of two companies related to the Kirchner family, alleged maneuvers through these firms were investigated through which money laundering from the awarding of public works would have been incurred. For this case – which were initially two and ended up being unified – Fernández was prosecuted for the alleged crime of money laundering, but was later dismissed in November 2021, before the start of the oral trial.
The Federal Chamber of Criminal Cassation also decided this Monday remove judges Adrián Federico Grünberg and Daniel Horacio Obligado, who in 2021 had voted in favor of the dismissal of the vice president.
Memorandum with Iran
In another ruling also adverse to the former president, the same court revoked the dismissal of Cristina Fernández in the cause for which she was investigated by the signing in 2013 of a memorandum of understanding between Argentina and Iran.
Argentina signed this pact to facilitate the investigation of the 1994 attack on the headquarters of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA), in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people died and for which several Iranians are accused, but the Justice Department investigated whether, In fact, it had been about a maneuver to cover up several officials of that country.
The case began after a complaint from prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who a few days after making public the accusation against Fernández appeared dead in his apartment with a gunshot to the head.
Fernández, along with other officials of her Government, was prosecuted in this case for the alleged crime of cover-up and dismissed in October 2021 by the Federal Oral Court 8, before the start of the oral trial, which the Criminal Cassation Chamber now orders be carried forward. The court also decided to remove oral court judges Daniel Horacio Obligado, José Antonio Michilini and Gabriela López Iniguez from the process of this process.
Fernández, 70 years old and whose term as vice president ends on December 10, She was sentenced in December 2022 to 6 years in prison and disqualification to hold public office in an oral trial for fraudulent administration and whose sentence was appealed.
The vice president, who suffered an assassination attempt in September 2022, during the final instance of that oral trial, has maintained several times that she is a victim of ‘lawfare’ (judicial harassment).
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