Wed, Dec 04, 2019 - Page 7 News List

Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez appears in court


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.

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