Former Argentine president Cristina Fernandez appeared in court on Monday to give evidence in a corruption trial in which she is charged with diverting public funds, just a week before she returns to the country’s government as vice president.
Fernandez, 66, smiled and waved to a group of banner-waving supporters when she arrived at the Comodoro Py courthouse in Buenos Aires for a hearing that lasted four hours.
Fernandez denounced her trial as part of a “systematic plan” to demonize and destroy her and other Latin American leftist leaders.
The media and judicial apparatus in Argentina and the rest of Latin America are working “with the objective of demonizing and destroying the leaders of popular and democratic governments,” Fernandez wrote on Twitter.
She is accused of having favored companies owned by businessman Lazaro Baez in the award of 52 public works contracts worth 46 billion pesos (US$1.2 billion) during her presidency and that of her late husband, Nestor Kirchner.
The trial is one of eight separate cases in which she faces charges stemming from the couple’s time in office.
Her legal team had called on the court to allow her testimony to be broadcast live on television, but the judge refused.
Inside the court, Fernandez characterized her treatment as political persecution, saying her enemies wanted to remove her from public life.
She criticized the prosecutions of her children Maximo and Florencia Kirchner, who are codefendants in one of the cases against her.
“They prevented my children and I from having a credit card,” she said, in reference to an asset-freeze successfully sought by prosecutors in one case.
Fernandez is credited with masterminding last month’s electoral triumph of Argentine president-elect Alberto Fernandez, who is to replace Argentine President Mauricio Macri.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative