Crime & Justice

Money laundering case against Argentina’s Cristina Fernández reopened

Buenos Aires, Nov 28 (EFE).- A money-laundering case known as “Ruta del dinero K,” from which Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández had been dismissed, will be reopened following Tuesday’s ruling by the federal appeals court.

“Ruta del dinero K” is one of several corruption cases against the vice president and former president (2007-215). It was opened in 2013 and businessman Lázaro Báez, a close ally of Fernández and her late husband, former president Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007), was convicted in 2021 for laundering $60 million.

The case against Fernández was dismissed in June 2023, when prosecutors noted that it was undeniable that Fernández and Báez had a “close and direct personal relationship,” but considered that this was not enough to sustain the charges against her.

At the time, a civic watchdog called Republican Bases – closely linked to former President Mauricio Macri (2015-2019), an opponent of Kirchner and Fernández – requested Fernández’s reinstatement in the case, but was denied standing.

With two votes in favor by judges Mariano Llorens and Pablo Bertuzzi, and one against by judge Eduardo Farah, the judicial investigation against Fernández will be reopened with Republican Bases as the opposing party.

One of the arguments that influenced the majority decision was that the case was closely related to other corruption cases involving Fernández.

These are: the “Vialidad” case, for which she was sentenced to six years in prison in a first-instance decision that she is appealing; the “Hotesur-Los Sauces” case had also been closed and was reopened by Argentina’s highest criminal court in Sept. 18; and the ongoing “Cuadernos” case.

The vice-president has insisted that she is the victim of a judicial persecution aimed at politically ostracizing her and favoring her oponents.

“To think that in Argentina there are still those who talk without shame about the independence of the judiciary,” Fernández posted Tuesday on the social network X (formerly Twitter).

In statements to EFE, Fernández’s lawyer, Gregorio Dalbon, claimed that the resolution to reopen the “Ruta del dinero K” case is a “legal disgrace for the sole purpose of continuing a political persecution”, and said that he will denounce the judges “for failure to perform their duties”, adding that “sooner or later” the case will end up turning to Mauricio Macri.

“She is the only politician who had her money in a bank, not in the Panama Papers or in tax havens,” said Dalbon, referring to the international journalistic investigation in which Macri was implicated.

“Unfortunately, hatred and persecution are still the norm. Cristina is innocent of all the cases that have been brought with the sole purpose of ostracizing her politically. (President-elect) Javier Milei is the consequence,” he concluded. EFE

aam/ics/mcd

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