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Argentine VP challenges the court and demands to further testify on corruption charges

Tuesday, June 10th 2014 - 08:34 UTC
Full article 6 comments
Boudou surrounded by bodyguards and the media when he arrived at the court house Boudou surrounded by bodyguards and the media when he arrived at the court house
The vice-president was questioned for five hours by Judge Lijo and the prosecution on a print-works corruption scandal  The vice-president was questioned for five hours by Judge Lijo and the prosecution on a print-works corruption scandal

The investigation hearing into Argentine Vice President Amado Boudou's alleged involvement in the Ciccone print-works case, came to a close for the day on Monday after the politician declared for over five hours. With strong security from the moment he arrived and left the court room, he was also profusely insulted by a crowd that had gathered outside.

 “Today I finished my judicial declaration, I did not speak about politics,” he told gathered reporters as he left the court building, while revealing that he would ask to expand on his Monday testimony.

“I answered the questions that were put to me. This declaration is related to a technical legal analysis of the case, I have kept the political issues to myself for another time,” the politician added. “I made it known to the judge that I will ask to declare again”.

This is the first time in Argentine history that a vice-president in office, and the highest ranking officer of the Cristina Fernandez administration, has to go to court on serious corruption allegations. He is accused of having inappropriately helped the Ciccone printing company lift the bankruptcy when he was Economy minister. He is accused of later taking control of the company through companies under the name of friends, and given a contract to print money.

The vice-president also vowed to upload his declaration to Facebook, after having his request to televise the hearing rejected by Judge Ariel Lijo presiding over the case.

“I am very calm” said Boudou before entering. “Beyond all the political causes, the truth is in the judicial file”. He added that he was optimistic for being able to “tell the truth” and “unravel all this fabrication”.

“It is very sad when they attack permanently without real arguments,” Boudou has said earlier on Monday in reference to the media treatment his case has received.

“This is focused on me and I have the truth,” he said about the accusations he faces.

Boudou arrived at the court house at 11:10 in the morning and questioning started at 13:30 and continued until over 18:00 with two short recesses. He left at approximately 20:30 following the signing of Monday's long session.

However despite his challenging attitude when arriving in court, and days before preparing for Monday, following on President Cristina Fernandez' decision to support him which included militants with flags and banners outside the court house, this does not imply he might end tried by Judge Lijo.

According to Argentine political analysts Rosendo Fraga the fact that Boudou solicitors were unable to convince a Federal Chamber to invalidate some of the evidence against him is a significant signal as is the fact most certainly that the Executive branch will continue to put pressure on Judge Lijo.

“In the ruling coalition predominates the need to impede that power further debilitates in the last leg of CFK's second mandate”, says Fraga. But despite the pressure Boudou could also be charged for 'illicit enrichment' for his intervention to influence The Old Fund, which figures as the owner group of the print-works.

If sometime in the next few days the magistrate decides to take Boudou to trial, which could happen during the World Cup, this could seriously impact on the image of the Cristina Fernandez administration, argues Fraga.

A solution would be to make Boudou resign or ask for leave of absence but in the Argentine government predominates the need to impede further weakening of the administration.

This is because if Boudou finally is taken to trial forcing him to leave the post, similar situations could happen with other high ranking officials from the Cristina Fernandez administration who also face corruption allegations.

But “this is happening when Justice in Argentina is giving growing signs of independence and when it has become a political battle ground”.

Fraga says the Argentine opposition does not have the capacity to put limits to the administration of Cristina Fernandez since it enjoys solid majorities in congress and most governors and mayors are aligned behind her. “However the Justice branch could do it” points out Fraga.

Thus the context to analyze the challenging attitude of Boudou, who requested and was granted the advance of the questioning for Monday (originally July15), (but not recording or filming in court), and counts with the open support in block from the Cristina Fernandez administration.

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

Top Comments

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  • Usurping Pirate

    After all , what's he got to lose ? The judges are in his pocket so it will take years before the cases are heard and he'll be found innocent anyway .
    Unless the new administration decide to make an example of him .....

    Jun 10th, 2014 - 10:22 am 0
  • falklandlad

    That all this nonsense should impact on Argentina's possibility to win the world cup (“If sometime in the next few days the magistrate decides to take Boudou to trial, which could happen during the World Cup, this could seriously impact on the image of the Cristina Fernandez administration, argues Fraga”) bring it on. The English fans will love an own goal!

    Jun 10th, 2014 - 10:52 am 0
  • GALlamosa

    Looks like time for further reform of the judiciary. Wonder what odds you would get ??

    Jun 10th, 2014 - 10:55 am 0
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