The Federal Chamber of Criminal Cassation moved on Monday evening to reopen two cases against Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and send them to oral trial. The cases in question are Hotesur-Los Sauces — for which Kirchner’s son Máximo will also have to stand trial — and the Memorandum of Understanding with Iran.
With votes from Judges Diego Barroetaveña and Diego Petrone, the country’s highest criminal court annulled the dismissals issued by the cases’ respective lower courts. Both resolutions can be appealed before the Supreme Court.
The Hotesur-Los Sauces case includes charges of illicit association and money laundering from the alleged renting of properties and hotels belonging to the Kirchner family. The case had been dismissed by the 5th Oral Federal Tribunal in 2021 — the Cassation Court reversed that decision and removed judges Daniel Obligado and Adrián Grünberg from the case.
“The assets’ legality was apparent […] from the moment the funds were transferred for the contracting of public works, licenses, or concessions, or when tax or other benefits were granted,” said Grünberg at the time. “All of them were backed by the relevant regulations”
The Cassation Court did uphold the acquittal granted to Kirchner’s daughter Florencia in 2021 — she was 12 years old when the events allegedly took place.
Although Kirchner was acquitted in a corruption case known as the “K [Kirchnerite] Money Trail (Ruta del Dinero K) in June — in which she was being investigated for money laundering related to the dealings of businessman Lázaro Báez — she was convicted of fraudulently ensuring public works contracts went to his companies in a different case last year.
As for the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding with Iran — the purpose of which was to unblock the investigation of the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center AMIA — the vice president had been accused of a cover-up alongside other public officials. The AMIA bombing killed 85 people and is the deadliest terrorist attack in Argentina’s history.
The 8th Federal Tribunal Court dismissed the case in 2021 — Judges Barroetaveña and Petrone revoked that decision and ordered an oral trial. They also removed Judges Daniel Obligado, José Antonio Michilini, and Gabriela López Iñiguez from the case.
The vice president has yet to comment publicly on the court’s decision.
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—with information from Télam