Cristina Kirchner leaving the courthouse
Cristina Kirchner leaving the courthouse

Chamber of Cassation Debates Reopening of Key Cases Against Vice-President Cristina Kirchner – Hotesur, Los Sauces, and Iran Memorandum Trials

The Chamber of Cassation is going through a strong internal debate in relation to two key cases in which Cristina Kirchner has been acquitted: the Hotesur and Los Sauces cases, for money laundering; and the case for the signing of the Memorandum with Iran, for the alleged cover-up of the Iranian defendants in the AMIA bombing. Without confirmation yet, both cases could be reopened and these oral trials against the Vice-President could be ordered, when before the judicial fair it was speculated that only her dismissal in Hotesur and Los Sauces would be revoked.

The judges who have to decide whether to leave these dismissals without an oral and public trial or, on the contrary, to revoke them, are Daniel Petrone, Diego Barroetaveña and Ana María Figueroa. The magistrates held hearings in both cases last year, where they heard the arguments of the lawyers of the vice-president and the prosecution, and they have already extended beyond the term established to issue a ruling.

Judge Barroetaveña has already voted in the Hotesur and Los Sauces cases and went on leave. Judge Petrone has also prepared his vote. It remains for Judge Figueroa to define hers. Since she has the third vote, she will be able to manage the timing of the sentencing.

At the end of last year, the strongest version circulating in the courts was that this case was about to be reopened. That is to say, there would be a majority that would decide to revoke the dismissal and send Cristina Kirchner and her children Máximo and Florencia to trial. If Barroetaveña and Petrone were to vote for the majority, the ruling would still require the signature of all the judges and the vote of Judge Figueroa.

Figueroa is a judge close to Kirchnerism. She denounced to Justice that she was pressured during the government of Mauricio Macri to rule precisely on the signing of the Memorandum with Iran. Cristina Kirchner knows her. In August she will be 75 years old and according to the Constitution she must leave office, although she can ask for a new agreement in the Senate for another five years. Her son is running for judge.

Diego Barroetaveña, since the end of last year, added to his task of judge the task of being a councilor of the magistracy in representation of the judges. He was elected by the Bordó list of the Magistrates Association, the most critical of the Government. The Council is a political body and there he talks with all the sectors represented: judges, lawyers, academics, deputies and senators.

Petrone sometimes forms a majority with Barroetaveña in his votes, but they are not the same, they do not have the same profile. The judge was appointed twice by Cristina Kirchner, first in an economic criminal court, where he was in charge of the Antonini Wilson case, and then in a court of San Martin. After a competition where he was well positioned, it was with Cambiemos that he reached the Chamber of Cassation, at the same time as Barroetaveña.

The version that circulated at the end of last year in the corridors of the courts indicated that a ruling against Cristina Kirchner in the Hotesur and Los Sauces cases would be communicated together with another ruling in favor of the Vice-President in the case of the signing of the Memorandum with Iran. In other words, while the Hotesur and Los Sauces cases were to be reopened and Cristina Kirchner was to be tried for money laundering, at the same time the case initiated by prosecutor Alberto Nisman before he was found dead in his apartment in Puerto Madero was to be closed. Nisman denounced that Cristina Kirchner signed the pact with Iran to promote the impunity of the Iranians who blew up the AMIA.

The oral court in charge of that matter understood that there was no crime in the signing of the pact and acquitted all the defendants without trial. The prosecutor before the Cassation Court, Javier De Luca, believed the same and only the lawsuit representing the DAIA and the relatives of the victims of the bombing insisted on reopening the case.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.