Former vice-president Amado Boudou took aim at the media on Tuesday, saying the intense media attention surrounding his alleged role in the so-called Ciccone money-printing ring had put him a position where he had to prove his innocence.
"This trial has been strange from the beginning, in that the responsibility of proof was inverted. I have had to proove I didn't know someone, prove I didn't attend a meeting", he charged, during closing remarks given Tuesday morning in the trial into the fraudulent acquisition of Ciccone Calcografica, the only facility in Argentina with the capacity to print legal tender, in 2012.
The court is expected to announce a verdict later today, with Boudou risking immediate arrest and jail.
NOTHING TO SEE HERE
Boudou claimed the media had "constructed" a story about his alleged role in the acquisition.
"I never negotiated through third parties the purchase of 70 percent of the shares of Ciccone", he said.
"If it were true, then the share package that was transferred had not entirely belonged to Nicolás Ciccone. If the alleged bribery were real, then there is also somebody missing [in the investigation] who participated in bribes but how never appeared here [before the courts]", he added.
"The bribery has no basis nor any connection with any evidence because it never happened", Boudou claimed.
"Mr. (Alejandro) Vandenbroele explained that the company was controlled by businesspeople who had supposedly heard that I had an agreement with them, but he [Vandenbroele] never said what it [the agreement] was or how he knew [about the supposed agreement], but Vandenbroele said the bribery did not exist".
Alejandro Vandenbroele has been described by ex-wife Laura Muñoz as Boudou’s "frontman".
"You do not need to read a book by any journalist, rather what the case files say", he added. Boudou said that journalism was important but "it cannot act as Argentina's Judiciary".
He claimed the case formed part of a broader phenomenon in Argentina "of class revenge". "Those politicians in Argentina who decide to change realities are persecuted first in the media and then in the Judiciary", he claimed.
BOUDOU, A SYMBOL
Boudou’s meteoric rise from middle-class beginnings in Mar del Plata began to materialise as he entered the National Social Security Administration (ANSES) in 1998. A decade later, he directed the ANSES and eliminated the AFJP private pension system. In 2009, he was sworn in as economy minister and in 2011 he became CFK’s VP.
His arrest in November last year came less than 24 hours after Fernández de Kirchner herself had lost a legal appeal against corruption charges, with a high court saying the prosecution’s case against her can go ahead.
The federal appeals court upheld a previous ruling that the 64-year-old former head of state must answer charges of criminal association and fraud that stem from her 2007-2015 term in office.