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ARGENTINA | 12-09-2019 13:57

Florencia Kirchner told to present new medical report before courts

After six months in Cuba – and with new reports emerging that claim her health is not improving – former president's daughter told to present updated clinical history before federal court.

Florencia Kirchner, the daughter of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner undergoing medical treatment in Cuba, has been asked to present a new report on the state of her health by a court investigating her for alleged money-laundering offences.

The move comes just days after a new report emerged in the press, detailing her diagnosis and how she came to stay on the Communist-run island.

Federal Oral Court No. 5 on Thursday notified Florencia Kirchner's lawyer, Carlos Beraldi, that they wanted an updated medical certificate from a doctor detailing her condition. They last presented a certificate before the court in April. 

Kirchner, the daughter of former presidents Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, has been in Cuba for the last six months, since last March, with the court's permission. 

The film director faces two separate legal battles in Argentina tied to her parents' hotel businesses in Santa Cruz Province. She faces alleged money-laundering charges in two trials, the so-called 'Hotesur' and 'Los Sauces' cases, which judges have decided will both be processed together. 

Others who face charges under the two corruption probes – which focus on businesses, real estate and hotels owned by or linked to the Kirchner family – include her mother, her brother, Máximo Kirchner, and former Kirchnerite business allies, such as businessmen Cristóbal López and Lázaro Báez.

Health

Court No. 5 granted Kirchner authorisation to remain to Cuba back in April, initially on a temporary basis, after judges approved a request to undergo medical treatment there for a number of conditions.

Those include depression, lymphedema and low body weight, according to her defence team. Other reports made public by her mother on social networks indicate she is also suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Camilo Vaca Narvaja, Florencia Kirchner's former partner and the father of their child, said back in July that the film director was experiencing "a very strong depression."

"Florencia is not well. It is a complex picture that has a psychiatric and psychological treatment and accompaniment. She has lymphedema, which she had during pregnancy, [she is suffering from] post-traumatic stress and a very strong depression, which has been aggravated by all the judicial and media persecution she has lived through," he added.

Speaking earlier this week, Zulema Menem, the daughter of former president Carlos Menem, defended Florencia Kirchner, saying that she is "accused of something that has not been proven."

"The children have nothing to do with it. I had a hard time [too]. The exhibition was very hard,"  said Menem during an interview with the FM Milenium radio station.

According to experts tasked by the courts, who reviewed the clinical history presented by Kirchner's legal team back in April, she could undergo the same treatment programme in Argentina that she is receiving in Cuba.

Nevertheless, all requests to remain in Cuba to date have been approved. The court, which has not requested that Kirchner return to Argentina, is now believed to be seeking information as to how her conditions are progressing.

At the request of the court, she must present herself at Argentina's Embassy in Havana every 15 days.

New reports

According to a report by journalist Ramón Indart on Tuesday, the former 'first daughter' decided to begin medical treatment on March 7, on the recommendation of a doctor, who she had visited while in Havana for a film festival the previous December. In February 2019, again visiting the island for a film-writing course, she had a second appointment. Then, prior to a scheduled return to Buenos Aires in March, Kirchner was reportedly told not to fly home and to undergo medical treatment.

A week after treatment began, Fernández de Kirchner then published a lengthy video online, describing that her "daughter's health was devastated" and appealing for her to be granted privacy and support. Criticising the courts and President Mauricio Macri's administration, she charged that Florencia's "poor health is a consequence of "the fierce persecution which she has been subjected to” in Argentina.

In his article, Indart paints a picture of an individual who was struggling to live in Buenos Aires, suffering from panic attacks and stress, while receiving unwanted attention due to her mother's high public profile. She reportedly sought to stay in Cuba as she did not want to return to Argentina.

In recent days, however, fresh reports have emerged that Florencia's health has not improved, with the situation said to be worsening "as the weeks go by."

Fernández de Kirchner – who must also request permission from the courts to travel given the raft of corruption allegations against her in the courts – returned to Havana on Tuesday to visit her daughter. The vice-presidential candidate last travelled there on August 22, only leaving on August 30, some 10 days earlier.

A spokesperson for the Frente de Todos coalition said the former president will return to Argentina on Monday.

– TIMES/NA

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