Trial for public works: the eighth hearing of allegations begins



Prosecutor Diego Luciani
Prosecutor Diego Luciani

The Prosecutor’s Office will start this Friday at the eighth Hearing of allegations in the oral trial for the irregularities in the public works that the businessman Lázaro Báez received for the province of Santa Cruz.

From 8.30 in the morning the oral and public trial will resume in a blended manner with the prosecutors Diego Luciani Y Serge Molawho have already announced that they will culminate their exhibition with sentence requests for the thirteen defendants in the caseincluding the vice president Cristina Kirchner. If they don’t ask for more time, the last hearing will be next Monday. Then it will be the turn of the arguments of each defense that will have three hearings: the first defense to argue will be that of Báez and that of CFK the sixth.

The expectation of Federal Oral Court (TOF)if the deadlines are reached due to the dynamics that oral trials have, it is that before the end of the year they will announce their verdict in the case.

The case debates whether the Báez companies benefited from the adjudication of 51 public road works in Santa Cruz during the Kirchner administrations in an irregular manner. The prosecution assured in previous hearings that in these awards there were overprices, unjustified delays or unfinished work, while the defenses, who are waiting their turn to plead, will argue that the works were carried out and that if any were not completed it was due to abandonment attributed to the government. of Together for Change.

In the hearing last Tuesday, the Prosecutor’s Office disassociated from the events those who were the chiefs of Cabinet of Cristina Kirchner during her two terms as President. This is the current president Alberto Fernandezfrom the Minister of Economy Serge Massaof the Minister of Security Hannibal Fernandezfrom the governor of Chacho Jorge Captainich and of Juan Manuel Abal Medina.

Cristina Kirchner is one of the defendants (Adrián Escandar)
Cristina Kirchner is one of the defendants (Adrián Escandar)

Luciani pointed out that during the Fernández de Kirchner administrations “the cabinet chiefs changed but the structure of the illicit association remained,” referring to the fact that July De Vido remained as Minister of Federal Planning and nelson periotti as head of the National Directorate of Roads during the 12 years of government, including the mandate of Nestor Kirchner.

In this regard, the prosecutor pointed out that all the files to expand the budget for the works that Báez received began in the Planning portfolio: “It would be unwise to infer that the former chiefs of staff have been able to receive orders from their hierarchical superiors, Néstor and Cristina Kirchner, for the purpose of directing or benefiting Lázaro Báez. This is so because the public work had already been directed from a level prior to those limited interventions that the heads of cabinet had.

The former cabinet chiefs testified as witnesses in the trial because in that role they were in charge of signing the modifications of budget items, including those of the Báez works. They all talked about what that mechanism was like and ruled out that Cristina Kirchner had committed irregularities.

Prosecutors Luciani and Sergio Mola also spoke of the lack of controls on the works of the businessman. Luciani said that the investment accounts for the works were approved by Congress after three, four or five years of delay.

Mola added that this happened because “the defendants knew how the administration works” and detailed the lack of controls by other agencies. One of them is the General Administration of Provincial Roads (AGVP) of Santa Cruz, which never designated the officials who were to carry out the controls. Situation similar to that of the Santa Cruz Court of Accounts, which was described as a “parasitic body” in those years in which it did not conduct any audits on tenders or public works.

The focus was also placed on the lack of controls of the General Syndicate of the Nation (SIGEN) where De Vido’s wife was appointed as deputy general syndicate, Alessandra Minnicelli.

If the Prosecutor’s Office does not ask for more time, Monday will be the ninth and last hearing, in which the request for punishment will be made for the 13 defendants in the trial.

With information from Télam Agency.

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