The show must go on

The show must go on

The sum of judicial episodes that seek to put Cristina Fernández de Kirchner at the center of the Comodoro Py scene provokes an inevitable deja vu and it is presented as an apparent search for revenge against the fall of most of the cases against him and, according to those around him, as an attempt at political proscription. To the show of the trial of the public work in full argument of the prosecution, a ruling of the Federal Chamber was added this Friday that took advantage of the prosecution of several businessmen and former officials in a pending section of the cause of the notebooks, to indicate -without mentioning her name but obviously – that it would remain to investigate any responsibility of the vice president since they mention alleged deliveries of money in her apartment at 1306 Uruguay Street where, as it appears in the case, neither she nor Néstor Kirchner went at that time. The sentence was signed by the two chamberlains named by hand, by the transfer mechanism, by Mauricio Macri in the court of appeal: Leopoldo Bruglia and Pablo Bertuzzi. The same ones that the Council of the Judiciary helps to sustain in those positions by not voting on the short lists to replace them by judges appointed by competition and with the agreement of the Senate.

The duo of transferred judges confirmed the expansion of the bribery proceedings against businessmen Hugo Dragonetti, Alberto Taselli and Jorge Balán, which had been issued in February by Judge Julián Ercolini, who replaced the court that Claudio Bonadio held until his death, a great promoter of this and other cases against CFK. The prosecutions of the former Secretary of Coordination of the Ministry of Planning, Roberto Baratta, and his then-secretary, Nelson Lazarte, were also confirmed. It is a section of the file that has not yet been incorporated into everything that was raised to oral trial, which is in the hands of the Federal Oral Court 7, which coincidentally opened the key evidence stage for the start of the trial, the same day that the The Supreme Court rejected all the appeals of the vice president in the trial of “Roads” or public works (three years late) to advance in the final stretch that is taking place now, where yesterday the prosecutors also sought to target Máximo Kirchner (see apart).

soup again

Both the businessmen and the former officials prosecuted in this new round were already included in the future trial of the Gloria notebooks whose authorship is attributed to the former driver of the Ministry of Planning Oscar Centeno, but towards the end of last year Ercolini maintained that he had found that a series of facts –alleged illegal payments linked to this mother cause– that had not been evaluated and called for new inquiries. The prosecutions he dictated in February. The resolution of the Chamber that confirms them adds at the end that among other “events that did not make up the timely resolved elevation” there was a payment “made on September 22, 2010 by Dragonetti” and that “Centeno’s annotations indicate that the The money received by Baratta and Lazarte was later taken to the address at 1306 Uruguay Street and delivered to Daniel Muñoz.” Muñoz, who died, was the private secretary of Néstor Kirchner.

In the case, the person in charge of the building declared that neither Néstor nor CFK had been there since he became president. Between 2003 and 2015, he stated, Muñoz only went sometimes. He was supposed to collect bills and sometimes he would receive people. Muñoz appeared in the Panama Papers, with properties in the United States and accounts in the Virgin Islands and Andorra. His widow, Carolina Pochetti, was involved.

Based on that mention, Bruglia and Bertuzzi concluded that the possible responsibility of other co-defendants should be “assessed.” The allusion to the vice president was indirect but quite evident and was read literally by several portals that headlined that the Chamber ordered to investigate Cristina Kirchner, who is also already included in the proceedings brought to trial in the notebooks.

Dragonetti and Taselli are awarded a payment of bribes not included until now and Balán is attributed two. Lazarte is accused of nine acts of passive bribery. The resolution partially revokes prosecutions against businessman Claudio Glazman and former official Hernán Gómez.


As the defendants had questioned – as has happened throughout this case – that the entire accusation was sustained on the basis of the notebooks that Centeno would have written, the judges say more than once throughout the resolution that “the elements evidence collected exceeds the framework of the ‘notebooks’ and its ratification by Oscar B Centeno when he testified as repentant”. They say that “the addresses indicated, the ownership of the vehicles mentioned, the communications between the protagonists” were verified on the dates of the aforementioned payments. For Bruglia and Bertuzzi, the declarations of repentance are key evidence. It is worth remembering that these statements were not recorded (recorded or filmed) as indicated by the procedural rules and that the prosecutor Stornelli himself said that there were not “rings for everyone”, as if implying that if they did not say what was expected of them ( who confess bribes and involve CFK and the Ministry of Planning) could be imprisoned. According to the judges, the reconstruction of certain telephone contacts was also essential.

Bruglia and Bertuzzi also argued that the fact that Centeno said that he burned the notebooks but later (in theory) some originals appeared, “does not influence the probative value of those annotations.” In this way they are anticipating a discussion before the oral court, where Centeno asked to verify if the notebooks that are in the possession of the judges actually contain his handwriting. For now they did not accommodate his request. The defendants could not see the original assumptions. Until now, since August 2018 when the case began, an official expert opinion on the writings has never been made. In a derived case, businessman Armando Losón commissioned a private study that detected more than 1,600 alterations to the original text, 55 amendments or testados, and at least two different handwritings. Just after that, another judge, Marcelo Martínez de Giorgi this year ordered an official expert opinion.


The three prosecuted businessmen are repentant in the mother file of the notebooks and the Chamber says that they themselves described at the time the payment of bribes and involved Baratta. The difference was that when they declared for this expansion due to other facts, they said that the destination of the money was different: that they were contributions for politics, for campaigns or for the Justicialist Party. In this way, they requested that their case be sent to the electoral justice system, something that the Chamber denied them, contrary to what other businessmen involved obtained by decision of Judge Ercolini himself, which benefited Manuel Santos Uribelarrea, Hugo Antranik Eurnekian and Alejandro Ivanissevich, without opposition from prosecutor Stornelli. That the payments are treated as campaign contributions and not as bribes within an illicit association for the distribution of public works, greatly softens the situation.

In any case, the most benefited businessmen in this case so far were those of Techint (both the president Paolo Rocca and the directors Luis Betnaza and Héctor Zabaleta) since the same magistrate considered that what they confessed to paying were not bribes, but payments for a “state of necessity”, a “humanitarian” situation in the context of a conflict at a plant (Sidor’s) in Venezuela.

In precedents such as the old trial of the Senate bribes, which included the confession of Mario Pontaquarto, the use of reserved funds from the exSide and the verification of telephone calls, none of this was achieved and all the defendants were acquitted. It will be necessary to see what criterion the Oral Court 7 applies, which this year decided to put its foot on the accelerator and make this case, again with CFK as a target, once again occupy a place in portals, newspapers and other media. Bruglia and Bertuzzi, for the time being, have a clear game: while they rule in favor of Macri – as in the case of espionage on the relatives of ARA San Juan – they seek to compromise the vice president and other former officials of her administration.

Source: Pagina12

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