Photo via quepasasalta.com.ar

The Federal Cassation Court, the highest criminal court in the country, dismissed yesterday an appeal presented by former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and thus confirmed her indictment and pre-trial arrest in the AMIA cover up case. She stands accused of allegedly covering up Iran’s role in the 1994 AMIA Jewish community center attack in exchange for trade deals.

The rest of the defendants – former Legal and Technical Secretary Carlos Zannini, former Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, former Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI) head Oscar Parrilli, and former Deputy Andrés Larroque, as well as controversial social leader Luis D’Elía, former Quebracho picket group leader Fernando Esteche, and Jorge “Yussuf” Khalil – had their appeals dismissed as well.

Although the courts determined the former President should be remanded in custody until the trial, this will not happen; her post as a Senator grants her parliamentary immunity. Given that none of her peers showed willingness to strip her of it – not even Cambiemos Senators – arguing there is not a definitive sentence on her case yet, her situation is set to stay this way. However, Zannini, Esteche and D’Elía will remain in prison.

In its ruling, the court also rejected an appeal presented by Zannini’s defense which intended to take the case to the Supreme Court, meaning that the defendants have no other legal resource to avoid standing trial.

Nonetheless, let’s recall that the former President had in fact requested the case be sent to this instance as soon as possible, arguing that Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio, in charge of the investigation, had political motivations behind his rulings and therefore, an impartial tribunal would clear her from all charges once it got its metaphorical hands on the case. Her request was granted on March 5.

Judge Bonadio. Photo via Infobae.
Judge Bonadio. Photo via Infobae.

Now, a court comprised of three judges will determine if the evidence gathered in the investigation is compelling enough to convict her and the other defendants of covering up Iran’s role in the 1994 AMIA Jewish community center attack – in which 85 people died and more than 150 were severely injured, an attack the judge in the case declared to be against humanity – in exchange for trade deals, like late prosecutor Alberto Nisman had accused her of before his death. The date for the start of the trial has not been set.

What makes this even more controversial is the fact that 28 Border Patrol analysts (the Argentine Gendarmería) have recently concluded that the late prosecutor Nisman was “murdered in cold blood,” and that the crime scene had been tampered with in order to make it look like he had committed suicide.

It is worth remembering that Bonadio had indicted the former president for treason, but after Fernández de Kirchner appealed, a superior court determined to modify the charges to the alleged cover up. The judge had also ordered that she be put in preemptive prison, but her post as a Senator provides her with congressional immunity, and most of her peers had already made it clear that they would not vote in favor of stripping her of it.

This is the third case for which Fernández de Kirchner will face a court. The first is the so-called “future dollars” case, while the second investigates irregularities in the awarding of public works contracts to the Austral Group company, owned by Lázaro Báez, a businessman considered to be her associate, in the Santa Cruz province.



Publicado en Bubble.ar el
2018-03-09 11:02:32

Autor:
Demian Bio

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