Argentine Senator-elect and former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has appeared in a Buenos Aires court over an investigation involving alleged money laundering.
Her family is being accused of receiving kickbacks from the Hotesur hotel owned by Lazaro Baez in exchange for public works projects. Fernandez's children, Maximo and Florencia, will also appear in court in the coming days.
Fernandez appeared in court for 25 minutes, refusing to answer questions, but read a statement regarding the case.
"All of this makes no sense ... this is all a judicial folly that I’m not involved with," she said.
"I don’t plan to be a part of this fiction of judges who read you your rights but don’t apply them. The same can be said of the general attorney’s office. There is no rule of law Argentina.”
These same charges were previously brought against her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, and were dropped because of “grave irregularities.”
She said that the newest iteration of the case is a "farce" and a "grotesque political, media and judicial persecution campaign without precedent” in Argentina’s democracy. She added that current President Mauricio Macri and the Senate are using the case as a pretext "to intimidate political, social and union leaders so that there is no genuine opposition voice against the second phase of their (budget) austerity plan" and to “distract” the public from the president newest labor reforms.
Fernandez accused her accusers of “managing fiscal paradises in off shore accounts."
Macri has been on a two-year-long crusade to install neoliberal, pro-market reforms since he took office in December 2015. Since then, labor reforms have ousted over 108,000 public workers, many of them teachers. The administration eliminated energy and gas subsidies resulting in a 500 percent price increase for electricity, and a 300 percent jump for natural gas. Public transportation costs are up 100 percent in some areas.