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ARGENTINA | 05-06-2018 10:53

Senate moves to strike against CFK as deadline to strip her immunity draws near

CFK returned to the spotlight last week amid ongoing tension over the Mauricio Macri government's economic policy, delivering a powerful speech in Congress that reminded friends and foes of her political prowess and popularity.

A legislative procedure to strip Senator Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of her parliamentary immunity will expire on June 7.

Senate majority leaders huddled urgently this week to determine if and when they would strike against the former president.

The ruling coalition needs 37 senators to vote in favour of the measure aimed at removing CFK. If they are successful, she would be arrested and jailed on a preventative arrest order stemming from her alleged involvement in the cover-up of the 1994 AMIA bombing that killed 85 people in downtown Buenos Aires. 

Peronist majority leader Miguel Ángel Pichetto and his bloc will boycott the vote by abstaining, media reports suggested. Naturally, CFK’s own bloc, Victory Front (FpV) will also abstain, having described the move as part of “political persecution” against her.

The former president returned to the spotlight last week amid ongoing tension over the Mauricio Macri government's economic policy, delivering a powerful speech in Congress which reminded friends and foes of her political prowess and popularity.

COVER-UP

In December, Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio accused CFK of cover-up in the AMIA 1994 bombing investigation, in the context of which her government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Iran. The initial charges against her were of treason.

It was following the issuance of arrest warrants against the former president and a number of her closest collaborators that Bonadio lodged a request with Congress to strip CFK of her immunity.

Basing his ruling on late AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s complaint — filed four days before he was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head in January, 2015 — Bonadio accused Fernández de Kirchner and her acolytes of colluding with Iran to cover up their involvement in the dual AMIA (1994) and Israeli Embassy (1992) bombings in exchange for a deal involving grains and hard currency. 

Nisman had alleged that the government had offered impunity for Iranian officials (Moshen Rezai, Ali Fallahian, Ahmad Vahidi, Moshen Rabbani and Ahmad Asghari) in exchange for trade deals. 

One of the most damaging but contentious points was the Fernández de Kirchner administration’s alleged intention to push for dropping Interpol red notices, or international arrest warrants, for high-level Iranian nationals. 

Former Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble has long insisted that such accusations are “false” and “incomplete”, as per Twitter posts her made late last year.

-TIMES

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