Wednesday, August 21, 2019
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ARGENTINA | 28-02-2019 16:20

Cristina blames legal woes on 'perverse' judicial system and US Embassy

Court sources on Thursday leaked news about an imminent ruling that will send Fernández de Kirchner and her two children, Florencia and Máximo, to trial on money-laundering charges in the so-called "Hotesur" case. 

Former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner hit out at the Macri government and its allies on Wednesday, in a fiery speech from her seat in the Senate.

"We're standing before a perverse system", Fernández de Kirchner charged, during a heated session in which her Victory Front (FpV) colleagues made multiple attempts to tie Macri officials to the scandal surrounding lawyer Marcelo D'Alessio.

Fernández de Kirchner is engulfed in several corruption investigations, some of which are being pursued in the pre-trail stage by prosecutor Carlos Stornelli, who in turn is accused of using D'Alessio as a frontman for extortions and bribes of people compromised by the investigations. The Macri government's Senate bloc and its allies have tried on multiple occasions to strip Fernández de Kirchner of her parliamentary immunity.

On Thursday, court sources leaked news about an imminent ruling to send Fernández de Kirchner and her two children, Florencia and Máximo, to trial on money-laundering allegations in the so-called "Hotesur" case. 

SINGLED OUT?

The country's Judiciary "has done with my cases what they haven't done with anyone else's", Fernández de Kirchner said Wednesday. "And what's up with those people who are filming, recording, photographing, WhatsApping and asking for bribes in beach shacks", she added, referring to revealing images of D'Alessio and Stornelli in Pinamar, on Argentina's coast, and the WhatsApp screenshots which have, at the very least, tarnished Stornelli's image.

"In Argentina, aside from running political manoeuvres against opposition figures to stigmatise them, judicial officials are doing (illegal) business and extorting people", the Senator added. "We all know about Lava Jato (the region-wide corruption scandal tied to Brazilian firm Odebrecht), but in Argentina they've taken it one step further".

US EMBASSY

Never one to hold back, Fernández de Kirchner also pointed fingers at the US Embassy in Argentina, claiming it had been involved in the scandal.

"[I]n the judge's ruling, you can see the involvement of a foreign embassy in this situation. This demands that the Supreme Court intervene", she said.

"When journalist Daniel Santoro published that our Defence minister Nilda Garré and Máximo Kirchner had offshore bank accounts, the US Justice Department took almost two years to inform that this was in fact false. However, this businessman Etchebest had already had a written report in English about his assets, (and) those of his children who lived in the United States. Who gave it to him?", she pondered, referring to documents found in D'Alessio's home following a court-ordered raid. "I find it hard to believe the US Embassy was not involved".

"We are standing before a very perverse system, facing an extremely grave situation constitutionally and institutionally", she expressed.

"Never in my time as a national parliamentarian, I have seen and heard of something similar to what we're living through and hearing about. Not in plea bargains but in chats, in photos and recordings", she said.

-TIMES/PERFIL

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