08/03/2020 - 9:18
After two hearings to test the operation of the digital platform, the Federal Oral Court 2 (TOF 2) decided to resume the trial against Cristina Kirchner for the alleged direction of public works in favor of Lázaro Báez. This Monday, August 3, from 9:30 am, the debate will resume and there will be two hearings per week. The established modality is semi-face-to-face and the stage of testimonial statements will continue.
Judges Jorge Gorini, Andrés Basso and Rodrigo Giménez Uriburu will resume the oral debate whose trial against Cristina Kirchner, several of its former officials and Lázaro Báez, whose last hearing was held in March. The vice president is accused of having been the head of an illicit association that defrauded the State by having directed 51 road contracts in favor of Báez.
After two tests with the virtual platform provided by the Technology Directorate of the Judicial Council, the Court decided that the trial will be resumed through Zoom. Hearings will be on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The decision to proceed with semi-face-to-face hearings came after a controversial debate regarding the technical impossibilities argued by the Magistrate's Council. In addition, the body responsible for managing the funds of the Judiciary - chaired by Alberto Lugones - had ensured that there was an extensive list of cases that took precedence before that involving the former president.
This process has the vice president as the main accused and fifteen other defendants, including Lázaro Báez, Julio De Vido, Carlos Kirchner and José López.
The trial began a year ago and was suspended in March, following the Covid-19 pandemic, which is why prosecutor Diego Luciani had requested that hearings be resumed virtually. This had a first response from the Directorate of Technology of the Council of the Magistracy, where it was pointed out that "for the moment the technical conditions were not in place" to carry out a trial of this magnitude.
Finally, the Council provided TOF 2 with the system through which the judgment can be conducted. The proposal to resume in this way was accepted by the former president but questioned by Báez and former officials Julio De Vido, Carlos Kirchner and José López, among others. However, the judges decided to retake the case.
The trial will take place semi-face-to-face, combining the judges in the courtroom in Comodoro Py with other people who will be connected remotely. The TOF 2 explained that in the room there will only be, in addition to the judges, "the actuary and the person who is summoned to give a testimonial statement, and all the parties and other habitual participants in the debate will do so through the videoconference that the Judicial Council will provide for these purposes. "
With the resumption of the oral debate, the testimonial statements will continue. Of more than 160 people accepted, only six of the witnesses rose to the stand: Juan Carlos Morán, Margarita Stolbizer, Fernando Sánchez, Ricardo Stoddart, Mariana Zuvic and Silvina Martínez.
Since the beginning of the trial, 25 hearings have been held. Although it was the turn of Javier Iguacel, former head of the National Roads Directorate, and complainant in this case, it was determined that his statement will be heard later. It was the former Macrista official who presented an audit that showed that more than 78% of the contracts directed to the province of Santa Cruz, were awarded to the Austral Group, and that said awards "were plagued by irregularities, that there was an override, 65 % and half of the works were not completed ".
The case of the alleged targeting of the 51 bids in favor of Lázaro Báez was admitted as the preceding crime of other money laundering operations involving Lázaro Báez ("the K money route"), and the Kirchner family (Los Sauces y Hotesur). In this trial, the Government integrates the complaint through the Anti-Corruption Office.