The Federal Court of Criminal Cassation decided this Monday to annul the dismissal of Cristina Kirchner in the Hotesur-Los Sauces cases and that of the Memorandum of Understanding with Iran, who will now have to face the oral trial together with her son, Máximo Kirchner. In her ruling, she listed the arguments that supported the judicial decision, among them her ties to Lázaron Báez and the intention for the Interpol red alerts to fall.
In both rulings, which bear the signature of judges Diego Barroetaveña and Daniel Antonio Petrone, it is explained in detail why the magistrates do not agree with the decision of Daniel Obligado and Adrián Grünberg who dismissed the former president in Hotesur and of Obligado, José Antonio Michilini and Gabriela López Iñiguez, who intervened in the Memorandum case.
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The keys that complicate Cristina Kirchner, according to the Hotesur-Los Sauces court ruling
The facts investigated involve two former constitutional presidents; two of the largest businessmen in Argentina, and at least 32 people. For Justice, the laundering maneuvers carried out so that the money arrives with the appearance of legality to the owners of the companies Los Sauces and Hotesur, through simulated contracts and unnecessary. With the initial payment from the State to Lázaro Báez, who laundered the money, but in the following steps the final recipients managed to launder it. For this reason, the laundering maneuver does not end in Lázaro Báez. The maneuver lasted for more than 10 years. The Kirchner couple used their position of power to avoid controls (IGJ, AFIP, banking system, judiciary). The crimes involve fundamental legal assets protected by international conventions. The existence of shell companies to hide the origin of the money, which was shared by shareholders and directors. Direct traceability of the money has been proven from the Companies controlled by Lázaro Báez, which had public works and subsequent deposits to the accounts of the accused. Austral Construcciones or other companies transferred money to Valle Miter SA (a shell company) for rooms, which it transferred the same amount to the accused as rental fees, that is, one paid rooms and the other paid a rental fee, for the same amounts.
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Valle Miter SA went to a loss, according to the balance sheets analyzed by the experts, who added that it would not have been able to function without the irrevocable contributions made by Lázaro Báez. The lack of books and that the companies did not manage their administration legally, nor that the properties had been acquired with money borrowed in mutual funds, which are simple accounting entries and do not find their correlation in any bank transfer. Four apartments were acquired at half the value that their construction took and then rented to whoever had just sold them. There is innumerable evidence that establishes that these businesses were rigged, inflated through false billing and illegal and that they were also classified by several judges and prosecutors as fraud against the public administration. Valle Miter SA was classified in 2015 as an irrecoverable debtor (grade 5) by the Afip and the Central Bank. Consider that if the money reached the account of any of the companies controlled by Lázaro Báez for an illegal and criminal business (fraud against the public administration, as postulated in the ‘public works’ case), Even though it appears lawful, this money is of illicit origin and the maneuvers carried out until it reaches its final recipient (co-author of the preceding crime). Valle Miter SA pretended to provide ‘advice’ to the companies of the Austral Group, thereby receiving large sums of money with which the rental fees were subsequently paid, which could configure the criminal offense of money laundering, even disregarding the preceding crime of public works.
What arguments did the Court of Cassation put forward to conduct the oral trial in the case of the Memorandum with Iran?
According to the court ruling, the evidence that enables the elevation of the case of the memorandum with Iran to oral trial is the following, among others:
The signing of the memorandum of understanding was done to influence the red notices that fell on the Iranian citizens requested by the Argentine Justice, suspected of having participated in the attack on the AMIA. The red alerts were in force, but everything had been done so that Interpol could unilaterally modify its status. The notification of the memorandum to Interpol had generated an addendum, warning or banner that remains in force to this day. The cover-up maneuver required the use of parallel, unofficial, but reliable and concrete channels, to transmit between the governments of Argentina and Iran information related to criminal activity that could not be provided through legal channels, while public diplomatic negotiations were taking place. There would be proof of the existence of parallel communication channels.
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The accusation does not revolve around the signing of the Memorandum itself, but rather the criminal purposes that were evident, not only with its signing, but with other evidence that would prove its purposes. The existence of witnesses to testify about the interpretations possible and the scope of the clauses of the Interpol regulations, given that Interpol had regulatory powers to remove the notifications without an order from the judge in the case.