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September 15, 2014
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Randazzo: ‘Justice will decide Boudou’s guilt’

Interior and Transport minister says justice ‘will have to establish Boudou’s responsibility’

Infighting seemed to re-emerge within the national government yesterday as Interior and Transport Minister Florencio Randazzo said the Ciccone mint influence-peddling case — for which Vice-President Amado Boudou has been summoned for questioning as a suspect — was “a very serious issue.”

“Justice will establish his responsibility” in the case, Randazzo told reporters yesterday morning.

Having said that, the head of the Interior and Transport department stressed the fact that the questioned vice-president “has always submitted himself to justice” after reporters asked him to comment on Boudou’s legal situation now that the Kirchnerite official will have to appear on July 15 before Judge Ariel Lijo to explain if he was involved in illicit negotiations to purchase the Ciccone Calcográfica mint company in 2010.

The case surrounding Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s second-in-command “is too serious for us to be doing partisan politics,” Randazzo said after a rally where he presented a new Internet website for citizens to get new DNI identity cards.

‘Respect the ongoing process’

It’s not the first time that Randazzo has distanced himself from the vice-president, who found himself embroiled in the Ciccone scandal just months after being elected vice-president.

“Would Kirchnerism stick its neck out for Boudou?,” radio host Jorge Rial asked the Victory Front (FpV) official in March, 2012.

“I can’t stick my neck out for anyone,” Randazzo replied. “We should respect the ongoing judicial process.”

However, on that occasion, Randazzo said he was “convinced” that the Ciccone case was part of the “media operations” carried out by the anti-government media giant Clarín Group.

Yesterday, he did not resort to such arguments — like other government officials such as Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich has in the last few days.

The book of secrets

In 2011, Randazzo published a book titled Mejor que decir (“Better than talking”) where he blasted Ciccone, a firm that was awarded a tender to issue new passports.

In pages 166 and 167 of the book, the Kirchnerite official said this move — approved by the 1989-1999 Carlos Menem national administration — was “questioned” by several sectors. Despite this fact, Ciccone had its contract renewed until 2007, when the national government announced the takeover of the passport printing business. (Randazzo’s animosity towards the printing company also becomes clear in another part of the book, where the official recalled that Ciccone was the company “in charge of printing the tickets for the 1978 World Cup” hosted in Argentina during the last military dictatorship.)

The official then gave a brief description of the moment when Ciccone Calcográfica — which also prints the country’s peso bills — filed for bankruptcy “following a demand by (the) AFIP (tax bureau).”

Boudou is accused of having inappropriately helped Ciccone lift its bankruptcy when he was Economy minister in 2010.

Carozzo Donatiello, a lawyer, postponed his testimony before Judge Lijo last week. His testimony stems from a raid on an apartment owned by Boudou in April, 2012, leading to the discovery of evidence that Alejando Vandenbroele, the businessman who owned The Old Fund, which took over Ciccone after its bankruptcy order was lifted, was living at the property.

Herald staff with DyN, Télam

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