Despite knowing their chances of fulfilling their goal are slim to none, yesterday the Cambiemos caucus in the Senate introduced a formal petition to debate the request from Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio to strip former President and current Senator, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, of her congressional immunity, which he made in the context of the s0-called “AMIA cover-up” case.
Last year, the judge indicted the former President after concluding she was part of a conspiracy aimed at covering up Iran’s role in the 1994 AMIA Jewish community center attack – in which 85 people died and more than 700 were injured – in exchange for trade deals.
When doing so, Bonadio requested Fernández be stripped of her immunity, as he intended to order her pre-trial arrest. However, her peers in the Upper House never debated it, as it was always clear the request would not muster the necessary support, given the fact that only the Cambiemos caucus is in favor.
Besides Unidad Ciudadana, which predictably would not vote against its leader, the Justicialist Party (PJ) repeatedly indicated it would reject the request too. The caucus members have historically refused to strip their peers from immunity until – and if – they receive a firm conviction in a corruption case, the argument being that the immunity does not prevent judicial officials from continuing their investigations against the Senators.
However, since Bonadio’s request is about to expire, as they last a full year, Cambiemos introduced it anyway. The session, or lack thereof, will mainly be about the political optics than anything else.