Federal judge Marcelo Martínez De Giorgi on Tuesday acquitted Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in one of the corruption trials against her based on the so-called “cuadernos” – the notebooks of former Federal Planning Ministry chauffeur Oscar Centeno chronicling alleged public works graft.
The judge refused to consider the latter as admissible evidence and thus concluded that there were no grounds for continuing the case investigating bus subsidies.
In mid-2019 the Federal Appeals Court – including Leopoldo Bruglia and Pablo Bertuzzi, two judges whose presence on that bench has recently been challenged by the vice-president – unanimously agreed to suspend the trial ordered by the late federal judge Claudio Bonadio pending further investigation, considering the evidence collected thus far insufficient, and, following the latter’s death eight months later, handed over the case to Martínez de Giorgi. He has now acquitted the ex-president together with some of her officials such as former Federal Planning minister Julio De Vido and former Transport secretaries Juan Pablo Schiavi and Ricardo Jaime, among a total of over 200 defendants.
Martínez de Giorgi’s decision is subject to appeal by the prosecutor in the case, Carlos Stornelli.
Apart from the negative spotlight now falling on Centeno’s notebooks, the Federal Cassation Court is due this week to make a key decision regarding the validity of the testimony of whistleblowers.