The Cristina Kirchner – Oscar Parrilli saga continues, with the former President and her ex Spy Chief lashing out at President Macri and the Supreme Court over yesterday’s dissemination of a recording of a telephone conversation the pair had in July of 2016. They claim the leak was illegal and that they are victims of “political espionage.”
The recording, leaked to a salivating press yesterday, included a line that prompted a new criminal complaint against Kirchner, as well as no end of headlines. In reference to Parrilli’s predecessor at Argentine Spy Agency, Antonio Jaime Stiuso, Cristina says: “start gathering information on all the cases we framed him for. I mean… not framed him for but accused him of.”
CFK responded to the release of the recording by sending a brief and caustically witty message on her Telegram account. Implying that Macri would accuse her of anything, she said “Enough already of Macri. Now they’re reporting me for using bad language.” She accompanied this tweet with an image of a t-shirt with her face and one of her more memorable zingers from the conversation, “It’s me, Cristina, pelotudo.”
Parrilli, meanwhile, took a more serious tone, issuing a press statement (reproduced by Cristina on her twitter and Facebook account) in which he claimed that the release of the recordings was “illegal.” He accused Macri, the current Director of the Federal Intelligence Agency, Gustavo Arribas, and Ricardo Lorenzetti, President of the Supreme Court, of “political espionage against the Ex-President.” He then raised the spectre of a police state, alleging that the release of the audio was a thinly coded message to the Government opposition.
“This scandalous political espionage against the ex-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, without doubt the principal political leader of the opposition, is being carried out under the express orders of President Macri. And it clearly reveals that all of the opposition of being spied on…We are experiencing a kind of homegrown WATERGATE.”
Cristina’s lawyer, Carlos Beraldi, echoed Parrilli’s claim of illegality, saying that the release of the audio represented “a ploy with criminal characteristics,” and that it is a clear infringement of article 53 of the Criminal Code, which outlines the situations in which a person’s voice or image can be reproduced without their consent.
The phone recording was authorized by Judge Ariel Lijo, as part of a separate investigation into Parrilli for alleged cover-up of information that may have led to the arrest of national fugitive, Ibar Perez Corradi, at that time wanted for his involvement in the famous Triple Homicide of 2008.
It is not clear how the recording made it to the press. In a brief statement dated 23 January, the Supreme Court denied any wrongdoing.
In his statement, Parrilli went on to say that the phone surveillance was evidence of the “real Macri,” and made reference to the fact that Macri had been accused by his ex-brother in law and some of the family members of AMIA bombing victims of spying on them.
“We are being confronted by the REAL MACRI: The one that ordered they spy not only on his political opponents, but on his own “famiglia” and on the family members of victims of the attempt against the AMIA.”
Ouch. Let’s say what the next chapter in Argentina’s “Watergate” scandal brings.