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Cristina Kirchner Testifies Again in Notebook Scandal

She was called back due to new evidence and other developments.

By | [email protected] | September 3, 2018 3:44pm

Kirchner arrives at the courts this morning, looking pleased and waving at the press, via Maxi Failla:ClarínKirchner leaves the courts this morning after her testimony, looking pleased and waving at the press, via Maxi Failla/Clarín
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For the second time in less than a month, former President Cristina Kirchner has testified at the Comodoro Py courts before Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio as part of the ongoing Notebook Scandal.

Kirchner—who found herself at the center of what some say is building up to be the greatest corruption scandal—had originally testified on August 13th. She refused to answer any questions, instead delivering a written statement to Bonadio in which she denied all charges, characterizing the entire trial as a sham and a politically-motivated witch hunt. In the same statement, she also requested that both Judge Bonadio and Federal Prosecutor Carlos Stornelli be recused from the case.

After a number of developments and new evidence on Kirchner’s role in the ongoing case, including the explosive discovery of a hidden safe in Kirchner’s El Calafate property containing pen drives and folders full of intelligence information on Kirchner’s allies and political enemies alike, Kirchner was called back to testify before Bonadio earlier this morning. 

Others who were called back to testify include a number of high-ranking public officials and business leaders, such as former Planning Minister Julio de Vido, businessman Sergio Szpolski, and the former Managing Directors of La Cámpora, Eduardo “Wado” De Pedro, Andrés “Cuervo” Larroque, and José Ottavis.

Kirchner leaves the courts this morning after her testimony, via Diego Díaz/Clarín

Kirchner’s testimony this morning was almost identical to her last affidavit on August 13th. The former president kept her visit to the courts brief, refusing to answer questions and presenting a written statement before showing herself out.

In her statement, she maintained her previous claims, positioning herself as the victim of an ongoing “political persecution.” She emphasized that the entire investigation was fraudulent, serving as a scheme by the Macri administration, which, “in a clumsy way, is seeking to divert the  attention of public opinion amidst a political, economic and social debacle that can no longer be hidden.”

The former head of state also added that the so-called “notebook scandal” should be called the “photocopy scandal” instead, referring to the fact that the Argentine judiciary has been building their case around photocopies of the infamous notebooks—which contain a detailed account of an alleged staggering, widespread web of corruption under the Néstor and Cristina Kirchner administrations—rather than the original journals themselves.

This is the seventh time that Kirchner has testified on charges of corruption and illicit enrichment since leaving the Casa Rosada. Kirchner arrived at Comodoro Py a few minutes before 11 AM this morning, and stayed at the court for less than an hour, leaving a little after 11:30 AM.

In her statement, Kirchner also criticized the Macri administration’s handling of the economy, saying that “only three weeks ago,” when she last testified, the Argentine peso was trading at AR $27 to 1 with the US dollar, and now the dollar was selling at almost AR $40.