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The Court that must judge Cristina Kirchner for the Cuadernos case, crowded with corruption cases, without staff or space

The Federal Oral Court 7 (TOF 7) was one of the last to be created and is one of the few that has its complete integration. Its judges have in their hands an extensive list of files for alleged acts of corruption involving Cristina Kirchner, Julio De Vido, José López, Roberto Baratta, fifty Kirchner mayors, also Oscar Parrilli, and businessmen linked to public works.

Just over ten days ago, the Tribunal sent an official letter to the Court. There they detailed some of the most emblematic cases of corruption that are under their responsibility.

“As is known, the salient characteristics of the cases reviewed present a marked complexity and voluminousness of their performances, to which is added the enormous number of boxes of boxes. Particularly documentation and effects”, explained the magistrates at the time of ask for more staff and physical space.

In the set of cases that are processed in the TOF 7 detailed in the official letter, 229 people are charged.

The main files -without counting the infinity of files and incidents that are created in each cause- add up to 420 bodies. At the same time, always associated with these causes, “an approximate total of 240 boxes with documentation and effects, noting that the elevation has not yet been completed in all the files”.

Judicial processes have two stages, the investigative stage and the oral trial stage. It is in the latter when the case concludes with the guilt or innocence of the accused. For a file to be analyzed in a debate instance, it is necessary to comply with a series of previous steps that, in large-scale investigations, They can extend the deadlines for a long time.

The lack of resources to deal with these procedures ends up being a key variable in the tangle of resources and procedural tricks that in many cases postponed the trials for years and in others directly led them to the prescription of the processes.

In the particular case of TOF 7, made up of Enrique Méndez Signori, Fernando Canero and Germán Castelli, there are two factors that also come together: it is the only Court that is not located in Comodoro Py, but rather the judges have their offices in the Palacio de Talcahuano street. There was a formal request from the magistrates to be transferred to the sixth floor of the Retirement building, where there are offices arranged, but it did not prosper.

In addition, many files are located in that Court in which alleged acts of corruption committed during the Kirchner administration were investigated.

In September 2019, the TOF 7 condemned the former president of the Argentine Industrial Union, Juan Carlos Lascurainto the penalty of 4 years in prison and perpetual disqualification for the crime of peculationin a case in which the theft of 50 million pesos destined for the construction of a route linked to Yacimientos Carboníferos Río Turbio that was never built was investigated.

For having been in charge of that trial, the TOF 7 was also referred the cause for which it was arrested in 2017 to July of Vido in which Judge Luis Rodríguez prosecuted him and sent him to trial for the diversion of funds linked to the Santa Cruz coal mine.

In that investigation, Rodríguez accused the former minister along with other former officials, including Roberto Barataby having embezzled 176 million pesos that should be addressed to the modernization and enhancement of YCRT. The judgment must be made by the TOF 7.

But the Court’s star file is undoubtedly that of the Bribes Notebooks, in which 52 people are prosecuted. Between them Cristina Kirchner, as head of the illicit association that between 2003 and 2015 collected bribes between contractors and state suppliers. Although along with the vice there are other accused former officials, the largest number of accused are businessmen.

As a result of the magnitude of the file that also has other referrals that were raised to oral proceedings – and that are also in charge of TOF 7 – the president of the Court, Judge Mendez Signori requested in three sections that the parties offer measures of evidence and witnesses, request also addressed to the prosecutor involved, Fabiana León. This means that the next thing that will be done is to evaluate everything required, determine the list of people who will testify during the oral debate and set a start date of the same.

To support their request for more staff and to reduce the number of trials under their charge, the judges of the Court recalled that two investigations related to the notebooks were also filed in their offices: the section that focused on money laundering, money of 70 million dollars from the deceased secretary of Néstor Kirchner, Daniel Muñoz, and the one who investigated the subsidies to the collectives.

TOF 7 is also assigned the trial against 47 mayors and former mayors K and former chiefs of staff Aníbal Fernández, Juan Manuel Abal Medina and Jorge Capitanichfor fraud against the public administration through the urban waste management program, which caused damage of 600 million pesos.

They are not the only cases to which this Court had to dedicate itself. A few weeks ago, the trial against the former head of the Army during the Cristina government concluded, Cesar Milanifor illicit enrichment, in which the general was acquitted.

There is more. The TOF 7 must carry out the trial against Julio De Vido and actress Andrea del Boca where they are accused of fraud against the public administration in the making of the novel mom hearta strip financed by the former Minister of Planning through the University of San Martín during the Kirchner administration.

The list goes on. The Court also has one of the files where the giant was investigated. odebrecht. In July 2020 the federal judge Sebastian Casanello closed the investigation and brought to trial the case investigating the alleged payment of bribes by the Brazilian firm and its Argentine partners to former Kirchner officials, to obtain construction contracts for two works for the state company AySA. In the case they are prosecuted Julio De Vido, Jose Lopez, Roberto Barattathe former directors of AySA Raúl Biancuzzo and Carlos Benbusinessmen Carlos Wagner, Aldo Roggio and Jorge “Corcho” Rodríguez, among others.

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