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Prosecutor seeks 12 years of prison for Argentine Vice President Cristina Kirchner
August 23, 2022
Federal prosecutors accused Argentine former president and current vice president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of operating "the biggest corruption scheme ever known in the country." They requested she be handed a 12-year prison sentence, reports the Buenos Aires Times. This particular trial—one of over a dozen corruption, bribery, and money laundering-related trials she has faced over the past several years—alleges that the vice president diverted significant public works contracts while in office between 2007 and 2015. These contracts were awarded to businessman and Kirchner family ally Lázaro Báez, whose work on public projects allegedly turned a profit for Kirchner and cost the state billions of pesos, according to Reuters.
La Nación writes that Kirchner denies the allegations, claiming she is facing a “media-judicial firing squad” and "not a constitutional court,” and President Alberto Fernández (no relation to Fernández de Kirchner) has expressed his support for his vice president via Twitter, claiming that “None of the acts attributed to the former president have been proven.”
A verdict will likely be handed down before the end of the year, though Kirchner is expected to appeal if the court finds her guilty, which could delay the final sentencing even further. Federal Prosecutor Diego Luciani also requested "special life disqualification" from holding public office for Kirchner, if found guilty. Even if convicted, Kirchner would be allowed to run in the country’s presidential and legislative elections next year under parliamentary immunity laws. As France 24 explains, Kirchner could lose her parliamentary immunity “either by losing her senate seat at the next election, or if the Supreme Court were to ratify an eventual guilty verdict.”
The Fernández government scheduled a tentative joint naval exercise with Russia, among other countries, sparking criticism from opposition lawmakers, according to La Nación. The secretary of international affairs of defense clarified that under the current context of the war in Ukraine, Argentina “has no interest” in carrying out this exercise, which had been planned in August 2021.
Last night, Bolsonaro was interviewed by Jornal Nacional ahead of the October presidential election. Lula, Ciro Gomes, and Simone Tebet will all be interviewed this week, as well. During Bolsonaro’s interview, the president repeated his claims against the electronic voting system and asserted that he would accept the election results so long as they were “clean” and transparent. (Globo)
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