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Montevideo, July 7th 2022 - 16:59 UTC

 

 

Argentina: CFK acquitted in gas overpricing case

Thursday, April 14th 2022 - 09:43 UTC
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Expert testimony persuaded Judge Ercolini that there was no fraud Expert testimony persuaded Judge Ercolini that there was no fraud

Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) has been acquitted in the case of alleged overpricing in the purchase of Liquefied National Gas. Judge Julián Ercolini's ruling also reached her former aides Julio De Vido, Roberto Baratta, and other officials of her administration.

 

Federal Judge Ercolini Wednesday ruled to dismiss all charges against the former head of state in a case known as Liquefied Natural Gas (GNL), in which a “lack of merit” was determined to exist to further prosecute CFK, thus revoking the late Judge Claudio Bonadio's original decision to move forward with the indictment.

In Ercolini's view, there was no overpricing in the purchase of LNG, as determined by the opinion of experts consulted by the court.

“... [in] the period under investigation -years 2008 to 2015- the prices paid by ENARSA on the shipments with LNG ... were adjusted to market prices,” Ercolini said. “Therefore... fraudulent maneuvers must be ruled out,” he added.

The rest of those involved, Ercolini said, “turn out to be alien with respect to the events accredited in this instance and that were elevated to oral trial with respect to those named, so it is appropriate to dismiss” all charges against them.

The case revolved around whether there was fraud against the State through the purchase of liquefied natural gas shipments, following complaints filed by Juan Ricardo Mussa, President of the NGO 'Paso por Paso Argentina'- on October 20, 2014, and by the then Deputies Patricia Bullrich, Laura Alonso and Federico Pinedo dated October 21, 2014, regarding possible illicit activities related to the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by the Ministry of Federal Planning to the alleged “detriment of the State's coffers”.

Prosecutor Carlos Stornelli had determined in 2019 that Planning Minister De Vido and his aide Baratta ”violated and breached the duties of the positions they held in contracts for the acquisition of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carried out within the framework of the aforementioned government program (PET), thus defrauding the assets and interests entrusted to them and whose management, administration and administration were entrusted to the State, to the detriment of the State's coffers, to the detriment of the State's coffers.“

David Cohen, an expert witness who first appeared in the case, has been prosecuted for his ”deficient” work method whereby he either falsified or omitted the internet sites he cited as the source of his report.

 

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