BUENOS AIRES, Aug 23 ― An Argentine federal prosecutor requested a 12-year prison sentence yesterday for Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the country's former president and current vice president, on corruption charges related to public works.
Prosecutor Diego Luciani accused Fernandez de Kirchner, a still-influential voice for the left wing of the ruling Peronist party, of defrauding the state and involvement in a scheme to divert public funds during her two terms as president between 2007 and 2015.
The sentence will be known in months, according to local media, although Fernandez de Kirchner could appeal it to higher courts, which would take years to reach a final verdict.
“This is probably the biggest corruption manoeuvre that has ever been known in the country,” Luciani said in arguing for the sentence.
On Twitter, Fernandez de Kirchner, who testified in court in 2019, said she was facing a “media-judicial firing squad” and “not a constitutional court.”
The former president added that she was not given an opportunity to testify on new elements of the case and would present her defence on social media today.
Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez condemned the decision on Twitter, describing the decision in a statement as a case of judicial persecution against the former president.
“None of the acts attributed to the former president have been proven,” the statement said.
The prosecutor also requested a lifetime ban on Fernandez de Kirchner from holding public office.
The investigation seeks to establish whether she and other officials in her administration favoured firms owned by businessman Lazaro Baez in the bidding processes for dozens of public works in the southern region of Patagonia, many of which were overpriced or were not completed.
Many experts suspect that the allegedly diverted capital would have returned to the hands of the Kirchner family through their companies. ― Reuters