Federal Court No. 2 in Buenos Aires today sentenced Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to six years in prison and perpetual disqualification from public office, recognizing her guilty in the trial known as “Vialidad”. The vice president was convicted of the crime of fraudulent administration against public administration with public works in Santa Cruz between 2007 and 2015.
Kirchner was instead acquitted of the crime of illicit association, and it is for this reason that the court established the six-year sentence against the 12 requested by the prosecutors. In addition, the judges sentenced businessman Lázaro Báez to six years in prison for fraudulent administration in the same case. Against today’s sentence, the defendants’ defense will be able to appeal to the Supreme Court.
The effects of the sentence
De Kirchner won’t face imprisonment right away, thanks to his immunity as vice president and head of the Senate, but the court’s decision comes less than 11 months before a presidential election and a possible candidacy. Kirchner, 69, has the option of appealing to the Supreme Court, further prolonging the trial. To remove Kirchner’s senatorial immunity, the votes of two-thirds of the legislators of the upper house of Congress would be needed, a hypothesis that does not seem the most probable. Kirchner has always denied all charges, arguing that the charges are part of a political design for his ousting. President Alberto Fernandez sided with his deputy, defining the investigation as a “political” investigation.