"they blatantly lied"

“How do you get out of this ridiculous? How do you come back from this shame? They asked for 89 years in prison from the different defendants on the basis of lies! I’ve never seen lying in court like this! It’s all nonsense and we’ve proven it point by point!” to the defender of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Carlos Alberto Beraldiwith his usual calm and educational tone, indignation welled up from almost every pore. For six hours and 56 minutes, he exposed the evidence that shows that prosecutors Diego Luciani and Sergio Mola did not make mistakes, but rather “blatantly lied, they never sought the truth.”.

Beraldi focused on destroying the main accusation about an alleged illicit association that CFK would have headed and, through the Budget laws and other instruments, benefited the builder Lázaro Báez. Among the many tests, Beraldi exhibited some that were not known before. For example, in the 2010 and 2011 budgets, the opposition at that time presented alternative projects and in all cases exactly the same works were listed for Santa Cruz and for the same values. The first alternative project was signed by Alfonso de Prat Gay, and the second by a large number of opposition deputies. In other words, the same Budgets with which they want to condemn Cristina Kirchner and that supposedly benefited Baéz, in the area of ​​the works of Santa Cruz, they were identical to those sustained by the opponents.

Beraldi also destroyed the hypotheses that the works were not carried out or that they did not lead anywhere or that the funds had no control. But above all, regarding Cristina, he showed that in the trial there was not a single witness who said that the former president suggested or requested some change to favor the Santa Cruz builder.

A devastating method

The method used by Beraldi, also accompanied by Ari Llernovoy, was lapidary. “This is what the prosecutors said” and immediately a video with the words of Luciani and Mola. “This is what the witnesses said in this trial” and then each of the people who testified at the trial, denying Luciani-Mola. Thus, for almost seven hours. Step by step, sinking the accusation. “This is a lie”, “this is malpractice of the prosecutors”, “this did not happen” the lawyers repeated countless times.

How the macrismo started the cause

Beraldi started by describing the incredible maneuvers made by the government of Mauricio Macri and the justice of Comodoro Py to put together the accusation against Cristina in 2016.

A month after assuming the former president, he appointed the ultra-macrista Javier Iguacel in National Roads. In its resolution number 1, the comptroller did not order an audit in the whole country but in a single district, Santa Cruz. He went directly against Kirchnerism.

Beraldi recounted how Iguacel arrived in a patrol car at the National Highway Administration (DNV) of Santa Cruz and treated the employees present there as criminals. But the most significant thing is that the audit -ordered by Iguacel- concluded that “There are no evidence of relevant constructive deficiencies, nor are there any tasks that have been certified without being executed…”. Furthermore, in court one of the auditors, Justo Pastor Romero, denounced that the macrismo abandoned several routes that were almost finished.

One of the amazing facts is that at one point, the prosecutor investigating the file, Eduardo Taiano, argued that all the companies, including Iecsa, belonging to the Macri family, had to be analyzed. The macrista denouncers were alarmed. So they resorted to a crude maneuver: they took a photocopy of the complaint and reassigned the case to two other prosecutors, one of them closely linked to Together for Change. In other words, a move to change prosecutors.

baseless accusations

The central accusation is that Cristina was the head of an illicit association that with the budgets and other instruments benefited Santa Cruz, essentially to benefit Báez.

For Luciani-Mola, the fact that the southern province was assigned the construction of 12 percent of the country’s highway budget was criminal because “there is very low population density”. The witnesses –generally career professionals– destroyed that position: of the 38,000 kilometers of routes, Santa Cruz, with 11.4 percent of the national territory, barely had 2,380 (six percent), but more than half unpaved. “This was a historical deficit: they had no routes. And building a route takes people there to live”, pointed out at trial.

On the myth that roads were built that led to nowhere, the prosecutors did not present a single piece of evidence. The auditors appointed by the macrismo maintained that it was a lie and when they asked the complainant opposition deputy Fernando Sánchez, he replied: “I don’t remember”.

In this sense, the prosecutors always outlined an alleged accusatory fact and Beraldi showed the video that denied them.

A fringe Congress?

On the other hand, the lawyer insisted that budget allocations are part of a development policy and a prosecutor or a judge cannot be placed above what is decided by those elected by the people, the deputies and senators.

What is unusual is that Luciani and Mola argued in their argument “that Congress had a marginal participation.” Beraldi exhibited testimonies from pro-government and opposition legislators who indicated that they had not had any pressure or suggestion from Cristina or from anyone in the Executive Branch. Beraldi exhibited the testimonies, for example, of Margarita Stolbizer. Meanwhile, officials from the National Budget Office (ONP) said that every year there is a real battle for funds, in which everyone participates, including the governors who are very attentive to taking works for their provinces. Namely: in the testimonies it was denied about the fringe share.

At this point, Beraldi showed a part of the video of Cristina Kirchner’s opening statement at the beginning of the trial: “How are they going to say that they approved of everything? -increased CFK- They voted against me on 125! How can they say that I forced them!

Beraldi added: “Are legislators fools? Why would they raise their hands? The prosecutors did not bring any evidence to support something like that.”

The macrismo presented the same works and numbers

But perhaps the most shocking thing was that lawyers Beraldi and Llernovoy revealed that in 2010 and 2011, the macrismo not only opposed CFK, but also presented its own Budget projects.

In these initiatives, the discrepancy was raised rather on social security issues. But in those budget projects of the opposition, exactly the same works for Santa Cruz appeared and with the same values. Evidence that destroyed the idea that CFK used the budget to favor Báez and that Cambiemos -who was supposedly an enemy of Báez- proposed those same works and those same funds.

Graciela Ocaña signed the DNU

The prosecutors had also attacked in their allegation that CFK issued Decrees of Necessity and Urgency (DNU) to expand budget items, favor Vialidad and by that means Báez.

Beraldi exhibited the testimonies of all the chiefs of the Cabinet. They said that the DNU were common in all governments, before and after CFK, because time passes between the time a budget is approved and executed and the values ​​must be adjusted. But it was clear from the testimonies that those officials that the DNU extend general allocations for the entire State, including -as Beraldi showed- the allocations for the Judiciary and for the Public Ministry.

What is significant, furthermore, is that the DNUs are sent to Congress because they require approval. And they are signed by all the ministers. Among them, for example, a minister who went over to the opposition, Graciela Ocaña. She signed those DNU without objection.

obvious lies

During the arguments of the Luciani Mola duo, some grotesque questions arose. For example, they highlighted the existence of a fund with which routes are built that comes from a trust, a tax on diesel. The fact is that the Kirchners had not invented that, but rather it emerged during the time of Fernando De la Rúa. Prosecutors said that money was used to benefit Baez because it is not in the budget. But Beraldi showed the forms where they did appear and also showed the videos of the witnesses affirming the same: “This is exhausting,” the lawyer concluded. They asked for 89 years in prison based on this nonsense. This is serious.”

Prosecutors also said that much lower values ​​than those earmarked for the 34 Baez works were reported to Congress. The response came from the Budget Office: these works are correctly informed, with a slight change in the designation, but with the corresponding work number. A fact that destroyed Luciani-Mola’s accusation.

But, to round it off, the prosecutors even mentioned that none of Báez’s works appeared in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Budgets. However, Beraldi said that he reviewed the forms, with the number of works, and found that they did appear. “They took away our capacity for amazement, everything is implausible,” the lawyer complained.

Do not seek the truth to be able to lie

Finally, Beraldi spoke about the Investment Account, which is a law voted by Congress approving what was done with the amounts and physical goals of each budget (for example, kilometers of roads, number of vaccines or scholarships). The prosecutors maintained that the approval of the Budgets of the CFK government every year was a minor issue, that it was not given importance.

Beraldi showed the testimonies of the trial that affirmed the opposite: it is of great relevance. There are two books of the General Accounting Office of the Nation in which the execution of the Budget is detailed. “The prosecutors say that Congress voted for anything,” Beraldi recalled. Did you hear this nonsense? But, furthermore, why didn’t they summon deputies and senators to prove it? We ask that you come. They did not want to continue lying blatantly.”

This Tuesday, the second part

Beraldi and Llernovoy will continue this Tuesday starting at 9. But they have stated that what follows will be even harder than the initial section. The vice president herself reported it through her Twitter account: “You saw what I told you yesterday, didn’t you? That Beraldi was going to strip Luciani and Mola’s script. I correct myself, he went much further: he proved in documented form – as he should be made in any trial – that Luciani and Mola blatantly lied. He, out of professional decorum, called it malpractice”. Later, he expressed himself again by inviting us to continue watching the exposition of his defense: “I continued to watch and listen to how Dr. Beraldi continues with the demolition of the scandalous accusation of Luciani and Mola. Something never seen before! He is going to demonstrate the farce of the prosecutors and the “plan clean everything”. Don’t miss it: I found out how they lied to you.” Next Friday it will be the turn of Cristina Kirchner herself.

Source: Pagina12

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Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a freelance writer working on news website. He contributes to Our Blog and more. Wise also works in higher ed sustainability and previously in stream restoration. He loves running, trees and hanging out with her family.

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