Former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is reportedly saying that the current administration is to blame for the explosive corruption scandal that surfaced this morning in Argentina – known here as “the notebooks of corruption” – and that has her right in the middle of the investigation.
So far, Cristina has remained silent or refused to comment after reporters tried to ask her about the scandal. “Thank you, guys,” is all she said while leaving Congress this afternoon.
— TN – Todo Noticias (@todonoticias) August 1, 2018
Earlier, Clarín journalist Pablo De León indicated that sources close to the former President quoted her as saying: “August is starting, prices are increasing again [in reference to the hikes in fuel, electricity and transportation fares] and the Judicial Party and the media, allied with the government, strike again. It seems like they looked at the polls and got nervous.
And this isn’t the first time the former President has resorted to this strategy in the past, in which she makes conspiracy claims that try to explain why she is being accused of criminal behavior in numerous corruption cases.
Cristina uses the term “lawfare” – a combination of law and warfare – to describe the attacks that she claims come from her political enemies, and has repeatedly indicated that Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio – in charge of this case too – is not impartial, but follows the current administration’s instructions. Kirchner is currently indicted in four different cases and has been charged in several others, but has not yet been sentenced in any.
Bonadio called the former President to testify on August 13. She can decline to attend or, as she usually does, show up but refuse to answer questions and instead deliver a written statement detailing her point of view on the accusations. Based on this, and the already available evidence, Bonadio will decide whether to press charges against her.
In radio interviews this morning, Prosecutor Carlos Stornelli said next week it will be known if the former President will be investigated as head of an “illicit association.” If found guilty, she could receive a sentence ranging between five and 20 years.
Kirchner in fact only recently returned to the public eye today after several months of keeping a low profile. Today she attended the last hearing in the abortion decriminalization bill in the Senate but she did not talk to press.
This scandal comes to light at a time when the Macri administration is also under fire for being embroiled in controversy involving campaign financing.