“Cristina never gave a direct or indirect instruction to her subordinate officials to influence the issuance of resolutions on public road works in Santa Cruz,” said her lawyer Carlos Beraldi at the beginning of the final argument before the Federal Oral Court (TOF) two.
In the first of the three days of the exhibition that began today, the defender also maintained that the former President endured “unusual arbitrariness” by the Justice.
“The irregularities not only targeted Dr. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner or this defense, but, even exceeding all limits, they were directed towards her family,” he warned.
Beraldi alluded “specifically to his daughter who, as we all know, never developed any political activity, but that was no obstacle for her to be stigmatized, attacked and her health was broken.”
Before judges Jorge Gorini, Andrés Basso and Rodrigo Giménez Uriburu, the defense argued that prosecutors Diego Luciani and Sergio Mola committed “malpractice” with “scandalous” facts and construction of a “fantasy.”
Then the Vice President said on Twitter: “You saw what I told you yesterday, didn’t you? That Beraldi was going to strip Luciani and Mola’s script. I correct myself, he went much further: he proved in documented form – as should be done in any trial – that Luciani and Mola blatantly lied. He, out of professional decorum, called it malpractice.”
The lawyers analyzed the mechanisms for the allocation of budget items for public works, the role of the National Congress, the Budget Law and, based on the evidence that they said was produced in the trial, they described the fiscal accusations as “scandalous”.
The debate will continue tomorrow from 9 o’clock and for the second day of the argument, Beraldi anticipated that it will focus on another “scandalous fact that the Prosecutor’s Office built with lies and slander”, in reference to the so-called “clean everything” operation, which, according to the prosecutors, It would have been launched when former president Mauricio Macri won the elections.
“If everything they saw up to here was a scandal, in the ‘clean everything’ plan they will see the lie that the Prosecutor’s Office said at this point,” the defender anticipated on the subject that he will address at tomorrow’s hearing.
During today’s session, the defense of the Vice President maintained that the accusers tried to sustain a “fantasy” linked to the fact that Kirchnerism “made a Budget for Lázaro Báez to win” when awarding public works in Santa Cruz between 2003 and 2015. “We never lowered our arms,” remarked Beraldi, and stressed that “the truth always triumphs and that is what happened in this trial,” because “it was shown” that the accusation “lacked credibility,” and was “false and baseless”.
Throughout seven hours of argument, between 8 and 15, the defenders recalled and displayed on screen through the Zoom platform excerpts of witness statements, including President Alberto Fernández, who was Chief of Staff.
The objective was to demonstrate that the allocation of items for public works is the power of the National Congress through the Budget.
“The Prosecutor’s Office said something that is really a fantasy, that Congress had marginal powers,” added Beraldi about the preparation of the National Budget and the allocation of public works in the country.
The lawyer warned that “all this leads us to the fact that what has been proven is the malpractice that the Prosecutor’s Office has incurred.” the Congress to establish annually the General Budget of expenses and calculation of resources of the National Administration based on the general program of the Government”
The former President did not connect to the hearing that is being held remotely, since she is exempted for agenda reasons.
The Presidency of the Nation “sets the general political guidelines,” added the lawyer in relation to the national government. In this regard, shortly before he highlighted that governments have different priorities and “from 2003 to 2015 they made public investment their priority.”
He also recalled that it is a decision of a “non-judgable political nature”, and showed the excerpt from the statement as a witness of President Fernández, in which he ratified that concept, and of another former chief of staff, Jorge Capitanich.
“There is no rule on the allocation of resources for public works in relation to the number of inhabitants,” Capitanich said when he appeared as a witness in relation to one of the prosecution’s arguments related to the demographic density of Santa Cruz, in contrast to the amount of national public works awarded.
Beraldi remarked based on the testimonies that “there is no rule that limits political power to distribute budget items.”
At the beginning of his presentation, the defender assessed that the prosecution was “defeated” by the evidence obtained in almost three years of trial for the alleged directing of 51 works in Santa Cruz in favor of the also accused owner of Austral Construcciones, Lázaro Báez. accusation is “false and baseless,” he added, and questioned the “persecution” of the Vice President.
“She is persecuted five times for the same crime,” he maintained for the open cases against him for alleged illicit association and remarked that the defense plays “a game on an inclined court.”
“The evidence destroys each of the prosecutors’ charges, he added. “We do not lower our arms at any time,” reiterated Beraldi, and stressed that “the truth always triumphs and that is what happened in this trial,” because “it was demonstrated” that the accusation “was not credible”.
The lawyer also stressed that “since the beginning of this process and as happened with the rest of the cases that were formed, the decision of Dr. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and our professional advice was always that we should present ourselves in all the files “.
The objective was, he added, “to demonstrate with all the legal instruments that exist that the charges were false and to await the moment when the evidence collected in a trial would demonstrate exactly what we have affirmed.”
“In this very arduous task, which began six years ago, we never lowered our arms,” even “when we had to put up with, not consent to, put up with various unusual acts of arbitrariness that have no precedent in our country, nor do I think in the world”, underlined Beraldi.
He exemplified that the Vice President was summoned “on the same day to give eight investigative statements,” recalling a decision by the late federal judge Claudio Bonadio.
After almost three years of oral debate, he said, “it was shown” that the accusations “lacked credibility”, despite which in nine days of arguments the Prosecutor’s Office “repeated the same accusations” and acted “as if the trial had not existed ”.
“We hear unusual things that are later repeated in the media, such as the proof that the Prosecutor’s Office has is overwhelming and is related to the weight to which a tonnage of three tons is awarded,” he asserted.
Beraldi said that his professional career began long before assuming the defense of the Vice President: “Never in my life have I heard such nonsense, from which it is difficult to come back.”
Beraldi and his colleague Ary Llernovoy developed a technical defense based on the review since 2008 of the complaints filed against Cristina Kirchner and, in addition, they stressed that the facts that are aired in this trial were tried in Santa Cruz because they correspond to that jurisdiction. In that province there were two causes: one was closed with dismissals and the other due to the absence of a crime, they recalled.
In this trial, alleged crimes with the national public works in Santa Cruz from 2003 to 2015 are discussed, such as adjudications supposedly directed at 80% to Báez companies, possible overpricing and lack of controls.
The former president faces a request for 12 years in prison and disqualification for life from holding public office, as alleged “head of illicit association” and “fraudulent administration.”
After the allegation of the Vice President, who will speak on Friday before the judges in her capacity as a lawyer, it remains to listen to the defenses of seven other defendants, including Báez. She will then open the stage of replies and rejoinders of the parties, to then begin the last words, after which there will be a verdict.