Thirteen times indicted, Cristina Kirchner should escape prison

The former head of state, who is running for vice president on the ticket of his former chief of staff, Peronist Alberto Fernandez, in the October 27 elections, has always claimed his innocence against accusations of corruption.

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Supporters of incumbent President Mauricio Macri hold up a balloon depicting Cristina Fernandez in prisoner uniform on October 24 in Cordoba. CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS / REUTERS

Thirteen indicted. Seven requests for preventive prison. A trial in progress. Dozens of other investigations touching her from near and far. Thousands of protesters demanding that she go to jail. None of this prevented former head of state Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (2007-2015) from running for vice-presidency. All polls announce a victory in the first round, Sunday, October 27, the presidential ticket she shares with Peronist Alberto Fernandez.

The main investigations against her concern cases of money laundering and illicit enrichment, including the award of public works contracts in the province of Santa Cruz, his stronghold of Patagonia. His first indictment dates back to May 2016, to the detriment of the state. Justice accuses him of having carried out a speculation operation on exchange rates in the last months of his mandate.

Elected senator in October 2015, she enjoys parliamentary immunity that prevents her from being arrested. As vice-chair, it will take two-thirds of MPs and senators to waive this immunity, a highly unlikely event. A first trial began on May 21, but it will certainly not end soon, the times of the Argentine justice stretching often infinite until the exhaustion of all remedies.

"Investigations are politically biased"

"The trials will not affect her work if she is elected, says journalist Maria O'Donnell. But it is at least unusual for a vice-president to go to court regularly. " However, to be indicted when taking power is not reserved to Cristina Kirchner: the current president and candidate for re-election, Mauricio Macri, was also in 2015, in a case of illegal eavesdropping, before to benefit from a dismissal in October 2018, for defects of form.

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"Some investigations against her are completely farfetched, says analyst Sergio Berensztein, like those on the exchange rate of the dollar, which is part of a perfectly legitimate monetary policy of the Central Bank. " The analyst goes further: "Justice in Argentina is not impartial, and investigations are politically biased. "


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