Photo: Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner live streaming her response to Prosecutor Diego Luciani’s sentencing request. Source: Youtube.
On Monday, prosecutors in Argentina publicly requested that former President and current Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner be sentenced to 12 years in prison for alleged corruption during her eight years as president and her husband’s preceding four years in office. Addressing a Buenos Aires court, Prosecutor Diego Luciani stated that he seeks “special life disqualification” for Kirchner from holding public office and accused her of “defrauding society.” Known as the “Vialidad” trial, Kirchner, along with 12 other people, is accused of fraudulently awarding public works contracts in the southern province of Santa Cruz to firms associated with businessman and Kirchner-family ally Lázaro Báez. Báez is currently serving a 12-year sentence for money laundering.
On Tuesday, Kirchner denied the prosecution’s allegations on a live social media broadcast, declaring, “Nothing, absolutely nothing that they have said was proven.” Argentine President Alberto Fernández, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Colombian President Gustavo Petro, and Bolivian President Luis Alberto Arce expressed their support for Kirchner in an open letter, denouncing “the unjust judicial persecution” against her. Even if convicted, Kirchner would not serve time in prison unless the Supreme Court ratifies her sentence and while she benefits from parliamentary immunity. Kirchner’s Senate seat is up for election at the end of 2023.