Félix Crous, head of the Anti-Corruption Office

The Anticorruption Office (OA)the body in charge of investigating possible crimes by officials and controlling their sworn statements, will not accuse Vice President Cristina Kirchner in the trial where she is accused of allegedly directing the public road works of Santa Cruz to benefit Lázaro Báezas decided to resign as plaintiff (victim) in the process.

That’s the way it is, the OA will not participate in the arguments of the oral trial which is scheduled to begin on July 11. The other state complaint that remains in the case is that of the Financial Information Unit (UIF).

The OA communicated its decision to withdraw the complaint through a document signed by the organization’s lawyer, Sergio Aleo. The brief text of the note that the lawyer sent to the judges Rodrigo Giménez Uriburu, Jorge Gorini and Andrés Basso, of the oral court, states that “the head of this body [Félix Crous] has decided to withdraw from the role of complainant in the cases in which this Office was constituted in that capacity.”

“Therefore, as there is no evidence proposed by the representation of this body pending production, Your Excellency is requested to remove this Anti-Corruption Office from the role of plaintiff, duly assumed.” The note mentions a decision by Félix Crous of October 19, 2020, where he explains the reasons why the OA would desist from criminal complaints.

There it is noted that the role of the prosecution in the cases is carried out by prosecutors, that the OA has among its functions the prevention of corruption and investigation, and that the litigation area was oversized during the management of Cambiemos to the detriment of other areas. It is mentioned that the OA should dedicate more of its management resources to communication and the prevention of corruption.

Félix Crous, head of the Anti-Corruption OfficeSilvana Colombo

“It is appropriate to order the resources of the Office in a rational and economic way, correcting the imbalances that impact on its capacities to fulfill its main mission, established in the Law of Ethics in the Exercise of Public Function”, says the directive of Crous.

That is why the state body decided to get rid of all the accusations in which it was suing. “There will have to be the withdrawal of the role of plaintiff in criminal proceedings in which he intervenes in that capacity. In order to contribute to the order of the litis, in those who go through the oral trial hearing stage, the provisions herein will be complied with when the receipt of the evidence proposed by the representation of this Office is completed.” The OA has so far been present at the trial with almost no intervention. The OA has already renounced suing in the other cases of corruption against Cristina Kirchner.

The vice president faces the possibility that the prosecution will ask for a sentence of between 5 and 16 years in prison in the case, according to the criminal scale of the crimes for which she is tried: head of illicit association and fraud to the State, in a case that is heading for its final resolution in the coming weeks.

Prosecutor Luciani asked that the trial of Cristina Kirchner begin on Tuesday
Prosecutor Luciani asked that the trial of Cristina Kirchner begin on TuesdayFile, Archive

In a month the arguments begin in the trial of the case. The prosecutor Diego Luciani will probably plead in August. consulted by THE NATION Regarding whether he was going to accuse and ask for a conviction for the vice president, Luciani said that he will not advance anything until it is his turn to make his speech at the trial. Due to the dynamics of the trial, which has already lasted three years, the interrogations of the prosecution, the confrontations with the defenses and the zeal put into defending the evidence that he intends to leave exposed in the trial, it is to be assumed that the allegation of Luciani will end with a sentence request, although no one confirms it in court, or unofficially.

It is not clear if an indictment can reach all the accused, since the situation of each one is different. If this qualification is maintained in the allegation, and nothing suggests otherwise, the Penal Code punishes the head of an illicit association with penalties of up to 10 years in prison and fraud to the detriment of the public administration with up to 6 years. As the crimes are in real competition, the maximums of the penal scale are added and for this reason the possible sentence to request is between a minimum of five years and a maximum of 16 years. This applies to the leaders or organizers of the illicit association, who are Julio de Vido, Jose Lopez, and Carlos Kirchner. In the case of the rest of the defendants, the minimum of the penal scale to be applied is three years.

Those who remain outside the illicit association, which are the rest of the 13 defendants, are exposed to a request for a sentence of two to six years in prison, which is the penal scale for the crime of fraudulent administration. They are: Abel Claudio Fatala, Raúl Osvaldo Daruich, Mauricio Collareda, Héctor René Jesús Garro, Juan Carlos Villafañe, Raúl Gilberto Pavesi and José Raúl Santibáñez. It is not clear if the indictment could reach everyone.

the allegations will begin on July 11 and will be broadcast live on TV, as decided by the trial court. Given that the prosecution has up to a month to argue and each of the 13 defenses up to a week, the verdict is likely to be known by the end of the year.

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