Saturday, January 23, 2021

ARGENTINA | 11-06-2019 17:08

Prosecutor blocks Fernández de Kirchner from making Cuba trip

A federal court will now decide if the candidate for vice-president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, can travel to Cuba to visit her daughter Florencia.

The prosecutor of a trial into alleged corruption during the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner presidencies on Tuesday ruled the former president could not travel to Cuba, where her daughter Florencia is receiving medical treatment.

Fernández de Kirchner had requested permission to travel last week. It is the second time prosecutor Diego Luciani has denied a request of this nature in the so-called “Obra Pública”, or Public Works, trial.

The Second Federal Oral Court (TOF 2) will now decide on the matter, thought its decision is not binding.

The former head of state is accused of having favoured businessman Lazaro Báez in the attribution of 52 public works contracts worth 46 billion pesos (US$1.2 billion) during the 2007-15 period when she was president.

She had requested to travel to La Habana, Cuba, from July 2 to 10. Fernández de Kirchner will run as vice-president to presidential hopeful Alberto Fernández. Her travel plans would have seen her leaving the country just days after the due date for candidacies.

In his decision, Luciani laid out similar arguments to the ones he used in April when he said Fernández de Kirchner’s presence in the country would ensure “the start and normal development of debate were guaranteed”.

“In summary, based on the international commitments of the Argentine state to the prevention, investigation and sanctioning of crimes of corruption, I expressed that there was a need to ensure the substantiation of the trial as one of unique relevance”, Luciani said.

The “personal motives” argued by Fernández de Kirchner did not modify his position, he explained, “nor are there reasons analysed in the presentation of factual circumstances, or the existence of new motives or additional reasons which could modify such position”.

Florencia Kirchner stands accused of corruption in separate investigations alongside her mother Cristina Fernández de Kirchner: the so-called Hotesur and Los Sauces investigations.

The courts presiding over the cases authorised the former “first daughter” to travel to Cuba for the premiere of a film she co-wrote about the disappearance of Santiago Maldonado. But when she landed in the Caribbean country, she began suffering health problems that impeded her from traveling on a commercial aircraft to Argentina, according to her medical reports.


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