After being questioned behind closed doors for over 10 hours yesterday, Leonardo Fariña (now acting as a whistleblower) implicated Néstor and Cristina Kirchner in the case popularly known as the “K money trail” and said that the presidential couple was responsible of leading a money laundering organization that “looted” the State coffers.
Fariña’s shocking statements prompted prosecutor Guillermo Marijuán to formally accuse the former head of state, along with former Federal Planning minister Julio De Vido and others, of creating a structure designated to launder millions in the country or send them to offshore accounts.
In simple terms, this shocking legal twist doesn’t mean that she is guilty or is going to prison, but that the prosecutor now believes there’s enough reason to treat Cristina Kirchner as a suspect and is asking the judge in the case, Sebastián Casanello, to have her investigated.
It is now up to the judge to decide whether he accepts Marijuán’s request and indicts Cristina, or simply rejects it because he doesn’t think there’s enough evidence to suspect any wrongdoing.
According to Clarín, Fariña said he finally decided to talk and implicate the Kirchners in the case because he now feels he can “trust” the authorities investigating it, especially Marijuán. Fabio Ferrer wrote on Infobae today that before being questioned, Fariña was seen pacing around and smoking close to a window, nervous. And once he was faced with Casanello, Ferrer says he let out an explosive statement:
“This was a plan orchestrated by Néstor Kirchner to loot the Argentine State. Néstor Kirchner was the creator and executor of this plan.”
According to several local media outlets, Fariña also asked the judge to declare as a protected witness.
Besides Cristina and De Vido, Marijuán also decided to investigate Ernesto Clarens, a financier with close ties to the Kirchner marriage and businessman Lázaro Báez. Fariña, who has been in prison since 2014 on tax evasion charges, decided to end his silence and implicate several people in the high-profile case in exchange for police protection and a reduction of his prison sentence.
This is yet another legal headache for former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who is already expected to appear in court on April 13 to testify in the “future dollar contracts” scandal.