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Kirchner family alleged front man in court on corruption charges

Wednesday, October 31st 2018 - 08:55 UTC
Full article 3 comments
Prosecution alleges Báez, a former bank cashier, created a business empire in Santa Cruz province with public works projects during the Kirchner presidencies Prosecution alleges Báez, a former bank cashier, created a business empire in Santa Cruz province with public works projects during the Kirchner presidencies

The man accused of being the front-man for Argentina's former presidents Néstor and Cristina Kirchner in alleged widespread corruption schemes appeared in court on Tuesday to face charges of money laundering. Lázaro Báez is accused of participating in a money-laundering scheme known as “the K-money route.” It involves some US$60 million in alleged dirty cash.

The prosecution alleges Báez, a former bank cashier, created a business empire in Santa Cruz province, political turf of the Kirchners, where he won tenders for oil and public works projects during Nestor and Cristina presidencies, spanning from 2003 to 2015.

The alleged corruption scheme is just one of several involving both Báez and former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Another 24 people are facing charges in the case including Báez's four children.

“Not only do I know nothing about this transaction but there is no evidence that links me to it,” Fernández de Kirchner said in a written submission to Judge Casanello presented in September.

Báez owns at least 25 ranches comprising 400,000 hectares in the southern Patagonia region, as well as dozens of properties and landholdings both in Santa Cruz and in the city of Buenos Aires.

One of his properties was excavated in September in search of buried containers believed to be full of money, but nothing was found.

A defiant Fernández de Kirchner said at the time that authorities could track her movements, tap her telephone calls and “dig up the whole of Argentine Patagonia” because “they will never find anything to implicate me as I never took any illicit money.”

Nevertheless the former Argentine head of state is under investigation in seven corruption cases in total, but claims she is the victim of “judicial persecutions” aimed at derailing her bid to run for a third presidential term in next year's elections.

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

Top Comments

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  • Little J

    It's totally incomprehensible that CFK can happily look on from her seat in the Senate, as a result of which she has inmunity from being prosecuted for all the corruption that her government were involved. Hopefull Congress will realize the stupidity of their actions and once and for all, remove her inmunity so that she can be prosecuted accordingly. And if found innocent be absolved or if found criminally responsible be sentenced accordingly.
    But for once and for all stop this charade which detrimental to the country as a whole.

    Oct 31st, 2018 - 02:08 pm +1
  • chronic

    For the spatially challenged: 40 miles by 40 miles. Not bad for a bank clerk.

    Oct 31st, 2018 - 02:00 pm 0
  • Enrique Massot

    The Macri government and its army of willing judges are attempting a very difficult balancing act: They want to put in prison CFK government officials who allegedly took bribes but want to spare the business people who paid said bribes.

    As a result, many are under investigation and Macri's friendly media give abundant coverage every time a former official appears in court. Every time the government faces an economic crisis, some judge springs to action so that Clarin and La Nacion can fill their front pages and eclipse the bad news way to the back.

    For all the noise, there has been little results to this day. Even excavating Baez' property did not yield anything, although it provided abundant press material.

    Little J hits the nail on the head when he asks that this “charade” be stopped “once and for all.”

    However, a little precision: Parliamentary immunity does not protect lawmakers against prosecution. Immunity, instead, protects them from being imprisoned. As a result, any legal process can continue and if there is a firm sentence then the immunity may be revoked.

    As a result, nothing prevents the prosecution of CFK.

    To prove she did something illegal is a different matter.

    Nov 01st, 2018 - 03:25 am -1
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