Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez starts graft trial she blasts as ‘smokescreen’
22 May 2019

Argentina’s populist ex-president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner passed through a crowd of ardent supporters and into a Buenos Aires courthouse on Tuesday to undergo a graft trial she derided as a “smokescreen,” days after kicking off her campaign for vice president on social media.

Sitting for the first time in the dock of accused, Fernandez faced charges of corruption. Now a senator with a significant following, she reportedly entered the courthouse while being shielded from journalists by crowds of supporters who formed a “human wall.”

She listened to the accusations against her while sitting with her lawyer in the last row, a glass wall separating her from spectators packed into the room behind her.

The trial, which could last as long as a year, will address multiple corruption allegations dating from Fernandez’s two terms as president from 2007 to 2015. These include accusations she received kickbacks from construction firms that got lucrative sweetheart deals on projects.

Hours before she appeared in court, Fernandez slammed the trial as a political “smokescreen” aimed at hurting her campaign for vice president in national elections this year.

By Nicolas Misculin, Reuters, 21 May 2019

Read more at Reuters

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