The Supreme Court would reject the proposals of Cristina Kirchner in the case of the public work delivered to Lázaro Báez

Cistina Kirchner at the first hearing of the oral trial (JUAN MABROMATA / AFP file)

Although it will not seem a surprise to those who follow the judicial movements, the news will have a political impact as soon as it is signed. It is that the Supreme Court of Justicea is preparing in the next few hours to respond to the proposals made by the defense of the vice president Cristina Kirchner and other defendants in the case for the public work granted to the businessman Lazarus Baez in the province of Santa Cruz between 2003 and 2015. All indications indicate that the highest court will reject the propositionsconfirmed to Infobae judicial sources.

The decision will be in the hands of the members of the highest court Horacio Rosatti, Carlos Rosenkrantz, Juan Carlos Maqueda and Ricardo Lorenzetti, that just a few days before that trial began, in May 2019, when nothing suggested that Cristina Kirchner would announce her return to the presidential formula and put the name of Alberto Fernandez for the head of the Executive, they requested the Federal Oral Court 2 that the file be sent to him to analyze the objections of the accused. At that time, there was speculation that the trial would not start and the news caused a stir. Quickly, the Court returned the file and the judges began the debate, with Cristina Kirchner, and sitting on the bench of the accused. “The request for records requested by this Court does not suspend the oral trial in process,” the court said at the time.

8 That in the current context of the aforementioned cases, on the one hand, the need for judicial proceedings in such delicate matters to advance, and on the other, respect for the right of defense of the accused, can be satisfied simultaneously..

There are several challenges that the defense of the vice president raised against his accusation. Among them appears a complaint resource against a rejection of various test measures after a report from the National Budget Office and another because he was prevented from carrying out a broader expert opinion on the works that the accusation took as a basis. It is that only five of the 51 works were analyzed under the magnifying glass.

The version that the Supreme Court rejects the resources of the vice president will not be a surprise for her environment. Not only because the former head of state is convinced that there is “lawfare” against her. It is that there are other rulings on which the highest court ruled that could serve as a prediction: on December 16, 2021, the same day that the now-old Judicial Council was declared unconstitutional, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the complaint filed by Sergio Urribarri, in the case that investigated the alleged diversion of funds by the former governor of Entre Ríos in the presidential campaign in 2015. The rejection was formal, as it was not directed against a final sentence. In that case, there was also no irreparable lien that could enable the review of the highest court.

Supreme Court Justices: Maqueda, Rosatti, Lorenzetti and Rosenkrantz
Supreme Court Justices: Maqueda, Rosatti, Lorenzetti and Rosenkrantz

The Supreme Court had decided to resolve the issues in the public works trial before the debate came to an end. Precisely, that debate entered the definition stage: the arguments will begin on July 11. The The Anti-Corruption Office will no longer be part of the debate because last week it announced that it was withdrawing from the process and therefore from the eventual accusation. At the beginning of the management Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Kirchner, the body headed by Felix Crous had already decided to renounce all the lawsuits in the pending cases against the Vice President and her children

This is the only oral trial that the former head of state has faced so far. The debate began in May 2019, just days after Cristina Kirchner announced the presidential formula with Alberto Fernandez. Along with the vice president, 12 other people are accused. Among them Báez, the former Minister of Federal Planning Julius DeVido, former Secretary of Public Works Jose Lopezthe former director of National Roads Nelson Periotti, former National Highway and Santa Cruz officials. The accusation is that since the governments of Néstor and Cristina Kirchner, the Báez companies received 51 public works for Santa Cruz in an irregular manner because they were granted at overpriced prices, without the companies having the capacity to carry out the works or because they received the full amount before without finish them. The crimes of illicit association and fraud to the public administration.

After three years of oral proceedings, the TOF in charge of Rodrigo Giménez Uriburu, Jorge Gorini and Andrés Basso ended with the round of witnesses and set the start of the arguments for July 11. The order of accusations began with the Financial Information Unit and then with the Anti-Corruption Office -which has already been withdrawn- and then it will be up to the prosecutor Diego Luciani, that keeps under lock and key the details of the reading of evidence that the Public Ministry will do on the processing of the case. It will be the moment in which it is defined if the prosecution accuses the vice president. The crimes at stake suggest that a sentence of between 5 and 16 years in prison could be requested. Then the defenses will speak to reject the accusations. It is estimated that the verdict could arrive before the end of the year.

Perhaps the most remembered moment of the debate so far has been the day that Cristina Kirchner had to be declared as accused. It was in December 2019, a week before she returned to power. “This is a court of law. lawfare that surely has the sentence written. History absolved me. And you will surely be condemned by history.” He said standing up and ending his statement before the incredulous look of the members of the court. Luciani insisted on knowing if the defendant was going to answer questions. The former president retraced her steps, approached the microphone and replied: “Questions? Questions you have to answer, not me.”

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