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Cristina Kirchner monitored the “corruption matrix” as Argentine President: prosecutor

#Cristina #Kirchner #monitored #corruption #matrix #Argentine #President #prosecutor

Argentinian Vice President Cristina Kirchner, as head of state from 2007 to 2015, monitored an “extraordinary corruption matrix”, the public prosecutor argued in her corruption trial on Monday.

Prosecutor Diego Luciani concluded by telling a Buenos Aires court that Kirchner and her husband Nestor (2003-2007), whom she succeeded as president, head “a pyramidal illegal association”.

“Between 2003 and 2015, an illegal association with unique characteristics operated within the state,” Luciani said.

“When Nestor Kirchner took over the presidency of the nation, and later his wife…they installed and maintained within the national and provincial government of Santa Cruz one of the most extraordinary corruption matrices that unfortunately and sadly ever existed in the country. “

Kirchner is on trial over alleged fraudulent award of public works contracts in her fiefdom in Patagonia’s Santa Cruz province, which allegedly benefited businessman Lazaro Baez.

Prosecutors say Baez overcharged for the projects, some of which prosecutors say are ongoing.

Kirchner, 69, is the target of around a dozen investigations into crimes including bribery, money laundering and obstruction of justice.

Some cases have been dropped, but at least five are in the trial phase.

She alleges political persecution and abuse of a politicized and right-wing justice system that her center-left coalition with President Alberto Fernandez has begun to reform.

Fernandez, who was Kirchner’s chief of staff when president, testified in her defense in February that there was no “indiscriminate” spending on her guard.

The prosecution will present its closing arguments in nine sessions scheduled over the next three weeks, after which it will be the turn of the defense.

The trial began in May 2019, heard more than a hundred witnesses and had to be suspended in 2020 due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

If convicted, Kirchner will be excluded from politics.

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