The Anti-Corruption Office (OA, in its Spanish acronym) has requested a prison sentence of 102 months for the Kirchnerite tycoon Lázaro Báez on charges of money-laundering and eight years for his eldest son Martín.
The money-laundering trial of Báez and 21 co-defendants resumed at 9.45am on Tuesday via the Zoom videoconferencing platform following a few technical hitches, minus the owner of the Austral Construcciones and his son, who denied their virtual presence from their Ezeiza prison cells.
Martín’s siblings Melina and Leandro did however agree to link up from their homes in the Santa Cruz provincial capital of Río Gallegos while warning of possible cuts in transmission.
"I’m in Río Gallegos because of the pandemic plaguing our country. My clients cannot be with me because last Sunday our province returned to the first [and strictest] phase [of quarantine] due to the rising number of infected," said the family's lawyer Alejandro Baldini, who also warned of possible power cuts due to sub-zero temperatures.
Other co-defendants linking up from their homes were Daniel Pérez Gadín and Jorge Chueco, respectively Lázaro Báez's former accountant and lawyer.
The hearing, suspended since March due to the pandemic, resumed on Tuesday with the OA plea presented by lawyer Natalia Pereyra via a power point demonstration.
All the participants – judges Néstor Costabel, María Gabriela López Iñiguez and Adriana Pallioti, prosecutor Abel Córdoba, the plaintiffs from the OA, AFIP tax bureau, la UIF unit against money-laundering and the various defence lawyers – are linked up from their homes while the proceedings can be followed by the press and general public via Youtube.
The Báez family, Pérez Gadín, Chueco, the financiers Federico Elaskar and Leonardo Fariña and all the other co-defendants are being tried for laundering illicit funds obtained from national public works in Santa Cruz.
Last week the court granted the tycoon (jailed in Ezeiza since 2016) a bail of 633 million pesos but so far he has been unable to pay it while the judges have rejected a request for house arrest while the bail sum remains under appeal.