Saturday, July 4, 2020

ARGENTINA | 28-05-2019 10:19

Leaked audios fuel conspiracy of plot against prosecutor

Carlos Stornelli's most high-profile investigations involve the alleged corruption of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her associates. His supporters allege the Kirchnerites are hell-bent on discrediting him.

Prosecutor Carlos Stornelli on Monday lodged evidence against a group of men allegedly involved in a plot to discredit and remove him from the high-profile corruption investigations he leads as a federal prosecutor in Buenos Aires' central Comodoro Py courthouse.

Stornelli included references to a series of leaked audio recordings broadcast Sunday evening on the Periodisimo para todos ("Journalism for All") programme hosted by journalist Jorge Lanata.

Stornelli's most high-profile investigations involve the alleged corruption of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her associates.

"We were right when we said we did not want to appear in Judge [Alejo] Ramos Padilla's juristiction", Stornelli's legal team said in the statement submitted to Judge Claudio Bonadio's court, referring to a summons to testify in Dolores where Ramos Padilla is investigating Stornelli and others for alleged extorsion.

"We noted [at the time] hints of undeniable persecution" against Stornelli, the complaint indicated.

The audios appear to have been recorded illegally inside Ezeiza Penitentiary where the men in question are being detained under preventative arrest warrants in investigations tied to Stornelli's work as a prosecutor and other cases currently before the courts.

Among the voices that can be heard in the audios are those of Eduardo Valdés, former ambassador to the Vatican; former Transport secretary who is imprisoned because of the 2012 Once train tragedy, Juan Pablo Schiavi; former number two to ex-Planning minister Julio De Vido, Roberto Baratta; De Vido's brother-in-law Claudio Minnicelli; and former Kirchner government official Carlos Zelkovic.

The incident is the latest chapter in an ongoing battle for legitimacy between the country's two main opposing political forces, which has also dramatically involved the country's judiciary since last year, when the "Cuadernos Case" broke.

Former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her supporters allege the "Cuadernos" case is a conspiracy to discredit her and her populist legacy as president, so as to stop her from returning to power in October when Argentines go to the polls in presidential and general elections.


Journalist Horacio Verbitsky, considered a fierce defender of the Kirchnerite legacy, on Monday responded to Lanata's allegations that some of the men refer to him in the audios as 'Vivoreski,' implying his involvement in the scheme.

He alleged Lanata has illegally infiltrated "Area 50" of the Ezeiza Penitentiary to seek clandestine recordings of prisoners.

He described former Kirchner government officials as "one of the new objectives" of the country's Federal Penitentiary Service (SPF).


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