Argentina: Cristina Fernández trial begins

Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández began her defense argument on Monday through the intervention of her lawyers in a trial for alleged corruption. The Prosecutor’s Office has asked for 12 years in prison and perpetual political disqualification.

“There was undue interference by the political power in the processing of the proceedings,” said lawyer Carlos Beraldi at the hearing, which lasted more than six hours on Monday.

Fernández, 69, is accused of illicit association and fraudulent administration aggravated by allegedly having directed the attribution of public works tenders in the province of Santa Cruz (south), his political cradle, to favor businessman Lázaro Báez.

Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner accused of corruption

In his defense, Beraldi maintained that “the auditors said that there are no evidence of deficiencies in the contracts and works and determined that the imbalances in the works are not considered relevant.”

The verdict, which can be appealed, is expected to be known by the end of this year. Fernández enjoys parliamentary immunity that exempts her from being detained or disqualified until the Supreme Court issues a ruling against her.

This Tuesday there will be a second hearing of allegations in his defense. Friday will be the third and last, in which it is estimated that Fernández herself, a lawyer by profession, could intervene.

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