Photo: Carlos Brigo. Telam

Former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner went today to the Federal Courthouse located in Comodoro Py, called to testify by Federal Judge Julián Ercolini in the context of the Hotesur case, in which she has been accused of taking part in a money laundering scheme using the family owned hotel — called Alto Calafate — as a front.

However, and as she always does when summoned by a federal judge, the former President refused to testify. Instead, she presented a written statement in which she said the charges pressed against her are “part of an immense ball of legal nonsense I have no intention to be part of,” and requested to be acquitted.

In contrast with other occasions in which she was called to testify, Fernández asked her faithful supporters to not go to Comodoro Py this time.

“They know there are no threats of extortion, neither in the government nor the Senate, that will shut me up. For that reason, because we don’t have to play their game, I ask you all to please not go to Comodoro Py tomorrow. I will go on my own,” reads the tweet.

Immediately after exiting the premises, Fernández – or her community manager, probably – published the 69-page-long statement in her Twitter account. She titled it “there are at least seven firm rulings that have analyzed the same events, in which the existence of any type of crime has been ruled out.”

“As it will be explained in the following chapters, the most elemental rules that make the due process have been violated in the most rude manner,” reads the statement’s subtitle in which, throughout eight long chapters, the former President reiterates that she’s victim of a judicial persecution orchestrated by the Mauricio Macri administration and implemented by the Judicial Branch, and finishes by quoting George Orwell: ” in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act,” she recalls, before asking to be acquitted.

The Case, in Brief

The prosecutors are trying to determine whether the Kirchner administration knowingly and unlawfully gave the green light to Báez in obtaining 80 percent of the public works project that were supposed to be carried out in Santa Cruz Province between 2003 and 2015 — which amount to AR $16 billion — in order to get a percentage of the benefits back and thus embezzle public funds. Báez would have paid these benefits by renting thousands of rooms in the Kirchner family’s hotel that would later not be used.

According to the prosecutors’ investigation, members of the Kirchner administration appointed people to several government positions which managed public works contracts that were later given to Báez: “This way, once the structure was set up, the next stage involved choosing the territory where the operation would be carried out. As we said, it consisted in concentrating the largest sum of State funds destined to public works in one place: Santa Cruz.”