Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will skip the upcoming hearings of a trial into her alleged corruption as head of state, while also leaving her coalition's election campaign in the hands of its leader Alberto Fernández.
Fernández de Kirchner will tomorrow travel to Cuba for the third time this year to visit her daughter Florencia, who is receiving treatment on the island for post-traumatic stress disorder and five other conditions, including lymphedema.
The former president received authorisation to travel form the Federal Oral Court 2 (TOF 2). She will visit Havana for eight days, as hearings continue into her alleged involvement in public works fraud. Hearings begin today, Monday July 1, but the vice-presidential candidate for the Frente de Todos (Front for All) alliance will again be absent, citing a meeting with Mercosur parliamentarians at 10.30am.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Fernández de Kirchner faces a number of possible corruption trials during the current electoral year. In two, her children Máximo and Florencia are also defendants.
In the so-called 'Hotesur case', the family members face money laundering allegations. The investigation is exploring a corruption ring centred on public works graft and the fraudulent rental of hotels rooms involving businessman Lázaro Báez.
Prosecutors believe the Kirchner-owned Hotesur firm was used to launder money and pay bribes, through a corporate, economic and accounting structure that allowed the parties involved to launder illicit funds. The hypothesis of the investigation is that Báez lent the Kirchners money to buy the hotels and used Valle Miter to exploit them as mechanisms to launder money.
According to the casefile, a total of 86 million pesos were paid by Valle Miter SRL to Hotesur SA for the payment of rental fees for rooms at various Kirchner family hotels, namely Alto Calafate, Las Dunas and La Aldea.
Fernández de Kirchner alleges her daughter's health has suffered as a result of the persecution she is subject to as the daughter of Néstor and Cristina Kirchner. The former head of state also alleges the charges against the Kirchner family are part of a broader plot to weaken them politically.
She described a court's decision in April demanding Florencia return to Argentina to face trial as "very grave and absurd".
"We lodged a complaint with the courts to request the very grave and absurd requirement that is forcing my daughter Florencia to interrupt her medical treatment in Cuba and return this Thursday to the country," Fernández de Kirchner wrote on Twitter at the time.