The prosecutors involved in the trial for the alleged direction of the public road works in Santa Cruz between 2003 and 2015 considered this Friday as proven that during that period the Kirchnerist governments managed arbitrarily to benefit businessman Lázaro Báez and thus they began to close the accusatory argument.
In the eighth of the nine hearings requested by the prosecution for their allegations, judges Diego Luciani and Sergio Mola spent most of their time reviewing part of their previous statements to ensure that the commission of the crimes of illicit association, non-compliance of duties of public officials and fraudulent administration.
It is expected that, as announced at the beginning of their argument, at the hearing on Monday the 22nd, the prosecutors will ask for sentences for all the defendants.among whom is Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, although from what was said in today’s hearing it would emerge that they will not accuse the former official of the Ministry of Planning, Carlos Kirchner, cousin of the late former President Néstor Kirchner.
“There were twelve years of arbitrariness of a systematic departure from the laws. They carried out corrupt, illegal actions for years,” said prosecutor Luciani, later adding that “It is unquestionable that all the members knew each other and were part of the criminal plan intended to subtract and seize funds (of the State)”.
“The former president (Cristina Fernández de Kirchner) had control over the complicit officials and the faithful businessman who continued these criminal maneuvers,” Prosecutor Mola said minutes later when exposing another part of the allegation.
In his turn, Luciani assured that “all the members of the illicit association knew who Lázaro Báez was and what he represented, he was Néstor and Cristina Kirchner” for which he affirmed that “there was not only knowledge but the will to fulfill all the roles assigned to comply with the criminal plan.”
The prosecutor further stated that money allegedly diverted from the state coffers was then “recycled” through “money laundering maneuvers from the hotel activity and property rental”, a fact that was analyzed in the Hotesur-Los Sauces case.
At the same time that Luciani was referring to that case in which the defendants were dismissed by the Federal Oral Court (TOF) 5, The Federal Chamber of Criminal Cassation notified the parties about the setting of a hearing date to analyze whether to confirm or revoke the dismissals.
The hearing began, like the previous seven, at 8:30 a.m. and took place in a blended manner before the Federal Oral Court (TOF) 2, made up of judges Rodrigo Giménez Uriburu and Andrés Basso.
“We have already proven that the money received by the Báez group was not used for the development of the works that were awarded,” stressed prosecutor Diego Luciani in the first section of his statement this Friday, in which insisted on directly linking the businessman with former presidents Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández.
Luciani showed messages between Báez and the then Secretary of Public Works of the Nation, José López, in which, according to their consideration, it is noted that they were “contracting contractors, the same party.”
Then Mola intervened, who initially focused on the public complaints of Vice President Cristina Fernández about political persecution through this criminal process by arguing that “‘lawfare’ as a legal construction does not exist.”
“The ‘lawfare’ does not exist and is nothing more than a political framework that seeks to discredit serious acts of corruption,” Mola said.
When the arguments of the prosecution are finished, the turn of the defense lawyers will begin, who will seek to use in their favor everything that happened during the trial that has lasted more than three years, in which the most varied witnesses rejected that there had been irregularities in the allocation of public works in Santa Cruz between 2003 and 2015.
In addition to Báez and the vice president, the former Minister of Federal Planning, Julio De Vido, the former Secretary López and the former head of the National Directorate of Roads, Nelson Periotti, among others, are accused in this case.
Regarding Carlos Kirchner, a former Federal Planning official, the prosecution maintained that “there is no evidence of any contribution or participation” in the alleged illicit association and that “it is not clear even in the instruction if the area created and where the cousin of the President, it was one more step in the criminal organization.”