Cristina Fernández de Kirchner defends herself after the prosecutor’s accusation
(CNN Spanish) — In a fiery one-and-a-half-hour speech, Argentina’s vice president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, defended herself after a prosecutor called for 12 years in prison and her perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
“I already have the sentence written,” said Fernández de Kirchner, who pointed harshly at the justice system and at the political opposition.
At the beginning of her speech from Congress, in which she showed files and read exchanges of messages related to the case, the vice president said that the trial began with a “fiction” and that it had a script “pretty bad, by the way, as well as false “. She stated that the “justice system allows violating all norms” and that “nothing the prosecutors said was proven.”
The vice president had already fiercely criticized the decision of the Prosecutor’s Office on Monday, stating on Twitter that she was not “before a court of the Constitution, but before a media-judicial firing squad.”
In his long speech, Fernández read messages exchanged between the former Secretary of Public Works José López, another official and the businessman Nicolás Caputo and in this context he pronounced one of the phrases that quickly went viral: “The one who feels very stupid is me.”
In addition to listing accusations against prosecutors and politicians, Fernández said that cases like the one that follows “discipline” politicians. “This is not a trial of Cristina Kirchner, this is a trial of Peronism, this is a trial of the national and popular governments (…) against whom we fight for memory, truth, justice, salary, pensions, public works”, and emphasized that point: “Public works, yes, public works were a formidable government management”.
Regarding the management, he said: “They ask for 12 years because they were the 12 years of the best government that Argentina had in recent decades.”
And he ended his message with a warning: “They do not come for me, they come for you. For wages, for the rights of workers, retirees, indebtedness, they come for that.”
The prosecutor’s request against Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Prosecutor Diego Luciani requested on Monday 12 years in prison and lifelong disqualification from holding public office for Fernández de Kirchner in the so-called Vialidad case, which investigates alleged cases of corruption in public works.
Fernández de Kirchner is being investigated for alleged crimes of aggravated illicit association as a boss, and aggravated fraudulent administration to the detriment of the public administration between 2007 and 2015, when she was president of the country.
The vice president, who has immunity, has denied these accusations.
The prosecutor requested the same sentence for the businessman Lázaro Báez, former partner of the Kirchner family and accused as the main beneficiary of the alleged fraud. He also called for other sentences for officials such as former minister Julio de Vido and former public works secretary José López.
Minutes after Luciani’s statement on Monday, President Alberto Fernández lamented the request of the Prosecutor’s Office: “Today is a very unpleasant day for someone who, like me, has been raised in the family of a judge, has been educated in the world of law and teaches Criminal Law for more than three decades. I once again convey my deepest affection and solidarity to the vice president”, he wrote on Twitter.
Following the prosecutor’s request, protesters gathered at the corner of Fernández de Kirchner’s house to show their support. There were moments of tension and incidents after clashes between the Police and the protesters.