May 23, 2013
CFK: Court goes beyond all bounds
In her first political statements of the year, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner harshly criticized the judiciary, especially the Civil and Commercial Court, for accepting the Argentine Rural Society’s request to suspend an executive decree expropriating their fairgrounds in Palermo late on Friday night.
“This court has exceeded all bounds,” the President wrote yesterday on her Twitter account, while on holiday in the province of Santa Cruz. She claimed the democratic system was “severely damaged” because of this ruling, adding that the judiciary has become a “superpower” which stands above the executive and legislative branches.
The head of state published a total of 22 tweets in a one-hour period in an onslaught initially spearheaded by Justice Minister Julio Alak, Vice-President Amado Boudou and Cabinet Chief Juan Manuel Abal Medina throughout the day. They also lashed out at judges Francisco de las Carreras, Ricardo Guarinoni and Graciela Medina for agreeing to suspend the seizure of La Rural’s premises.
The appeals court also lifted the court’s summer recess in January in order to arrive at a faster resolution of the Broadcasting Law case.
Martín Sabbatella, the head of the Federal Audiovisual Communication Services Authority (AFSCA), admitted yesterday that he does not expect the appeals court to rule in favour of the government in the Clarín case, but called for “celerity.”
With regard to the expropriation of the Rural Society’s Palermo fairground, Boudou remarked that the transfer from state to private hands had been a “corrupt act” made at an “extremely low price” below the market rate.
“It’s incredible how some judges use their power in favour of corporations. It was not enough to help Clarín, now they must help the Argentine Rural Society,” said Vice-President Boudou. But he was not worried because he still believes that there exist within the courts many judges who disagree with the rulings and are fighting within the courts to create a more egalitarian justice system.
Alak lost no time in announcing the government’s appeal yesterday: “The state will appeal this suspension because the court is non-competent and the ruling is challenging an absolutely legitimate action of the government.” Abal Medina accused the court of “sneaking through a ruling to benefit the corporations.”
Luis Miguel Etchevehere, head of the SRA, applauded the suspension, saying that they “had confidence in their arguments” and rejected Alak’s attack against the court’s decision. He criticized a comment Alak had made against the judges where he indirectly accused them of being fraudulently chosen to their posts. “It’s a bit contradictory” to accuse the judges of being against them if the same court also had made a separate ruling in favour of the government in the Clarín case.
Before the rulings, the government had filed lawsuits against Judges De las Carreras and Medina accusing them of a “conflict of interest,” due to a conference they attended in Miami, United States, organized by an NGO funded in part by the Clarín Group. The suits, though, had been rejected finally by the Civil and Commercial Court last month and the judges were reinstituted.
ESMA BARBECUE JUSTIFIED
The presidential tweats also tackled the controversy sparked over the barbecue held at the former ESMA Navy Mechanics School (now turned into a memorial to the victims of the last military dictatorship).
“In the ESMA there have been, and there will continue to be, many barbecues, festivals, Hebe (de Bonafini) cooking, the TV channel Encuentro, Paka Paka, etc.,” the President stated as she described the scandal as “a red herring.” As Bonafini (the head of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo) did on Friday, Fernández de Kirchner also linked the episode to the legal dispute between the national government and the Clarín media group over the constitutional validity of the Broadcasting Law. According to the President, the news was meant to discredit Alak, one of the main spokespersons against Clarín, and she insulted readers and journalists for giving any importance to the matter.
The President gave the “recipe for booby-trap news” in a series of tweets which were clearly pointing at Clarín, although the top-selling daily was not mentioned. According to Fernández de Kirchner, these news are published to wear down government officials or to favour corporations.
— Herald with DyN, Telam