January 21, 2018
Friday, July 14, 2017

Kirchnerites suffer a bad week in the courts as cases pile up

Kirchnerite figures had a bad week in the courts ahead of next week’s judicial recess, with several racking up new charges or facing adverse decisions.

Further to the notification last week that Federal Judge Luis Rodríguez would not be seeking his arrest in connection with alleged fraud in the Río Turbio coal mine in Santa Cruz, Victory Front (FpV) Lawmaker Julio De Vido was slapped with a fresh indictment in connection with subsidies for public buses in during the Kirchnerite governments. Federal Judge Claudio Bonadío, leading the investigation, also issued a lien worth a billion pesos as well as a travel ban against the influential former Planning minister.

The judge considered that there was sufficient evidence to show that “between July 2003 and March 2004, by abusing the authority inherent to the positions that they had, the defendants participated in an illegal manoeuvre by which they systematically distributed to public transport companies subsidies that were greater than what they were owed.”

Former Transport secretaries Ricardo Jaime and Juan Pablo Schiavi, among others, were also indicted in the case. De Vido, seemingly safe from the lifting of immunity by a judge in the short term, now faces increased calls from fellow lawmakers to be expelled from the Lower House. Action to that effect is expected next week.

Martín Sabbatella, former head of the now defunct AFSCA, was indicted over alleged irregularities in the distribution of subsidies in the period 2014-2015 totalling almost 10 million pesos. Sitting City Legislator Andrea Conde of the FpV, who was also a member of the AFSCA, was also indicted on charges of defrauding the state.

Fresh charges were laid against Fernanda Vallejos, the leading candidate for lawmaker on Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s ticket for the province of Buenos Aires, for failing to disclose in previous sworn statements that she had multiple jobs in the public administration.

Finally, former Army chief César Milani’s appeal to be released from pre-trial custody was denied by an appeals court this week. Milani, Army chief to Fernández de Kirchner, is in custody on various crimes against humanity charges.

Herald staff

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