Former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will stand trial in the case investigating irregularities in the awarding of public works contracts to the Austral Group company in the Santa Cruz province.
Cristina had already been indicted, along with former Federal Planning minister Julio De Vido, former Public Works secretary José López, former secretary of the National Highway Department Nelson Periotti, Lázaro Báez and his son Martín and other former provincial officials.
A total of 20 people will be standing trial accused of illicit association and government fraud. Earlier this year, Cristina Kirchner had already asked the judge leading the case to send her to trial as she maintains that she’s innocent.
Under the Kirchner administrations, the Santa Cruz-based Austral Group was unstoppable. If there was a public bidding happening, the construction company would usually be awarded the contract in the province. Báez’s company was awarded highway development contracts for 16.3 billion pesos in 2015 (as La Nación points out, the Judicial branch had a total budget of 12.8 billion, while the Executive had a total of 3.3 billion).