Today, Cristina Kirchner testified before federal judge Claudio Bonadio in the ongoing, explosive “Notebook Scandal,” which many say is building up to be one of the greatest corruption scandals in the history of Argentina.
After arriving at the Comodoro Py courts, Kirchner—around whom the scandal revolves—refused to answer any questions. Instead, she delivered a written statement to the Judge referring to the entire trial as a “sham” and a politically motivated witch-hunt. In the statement, she also denied all allegations and requested that both Judge Bonadio and Federal Prosecutor Carlos Stornelli be recused from the case.
In the face of these developments, former national deputy Margarita Stolbizer requested the reopening of an old corruption case centered around the Néstor and Cristina Kirchner administrations, which was dismissed by former federal judge Norberto Oyarbide. Stolbizer’s request will be added to one already submitted by Argentina’s Tax Information Unit (UIF).
Stolbizer submitted her request after Oyarbide was recently caught in the crossfire of the “Notebook Scandal” himself, accused of dismissing cases against political figures in exchange for bribes and political favors. Oyarbide had no less than 47 separate complaints of corruption and misconduct leveled against him throughout his career, and ultimately presented President Mauricio Macri with his resignation to avoid facing a political trial of his own.
While Oyarbide had originally denied all allegations, in a dramatic twist on August 9th, the former judge revealed that he was extorted by the Kirchner administrations on a number of occasions, stating that “his neck was squeezed” and he had little other choice than to “throw out the Kirchner’s cases.” That same day, Oyarbide asked to expand his testimony under a plea deal.
The request was submitted to reopen the case investigating the Hoteseur Los Sauces scandal involving bribes and money laundering of an enormous scale through the hotel industry—in which Stolbizer had been a whistleblower—and which Oyarbide had dismissed. Now that the former judge has testified to having been pressured to dismiss cases against the Kirchners, a wave of calls have come in across Argentina for the cases originally dismissed by Oyarbide to be reopened.
Through her attorney, Silvina Martinez, Stolbizer released a statement along with her request to bring back the dismissed corruption case, characterizing it as a “fraudulent ruling,” and a “trial where the rules of law were not respected, and neither due process nor the judge acted with the independence and impartiality expected of them.” In her statement, she emphasized that cases such as these are “inadmissible in the investigation of any crime.”