RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The former Argentine president Cristina Kirchner (2007-2015), currently vice-president, linked this Friday (16) the so-called ‘vulture funds’ with the case in which she is accused of having wanted to cover up, through the signing of a memorandum with Iran in 2013, the Iranians suspected of bombing the AMIA Jewish Association of Buenos Aires in 1994.
“The vulture funds (creditors of Argentine debt) campaigned all over the planet, in the newspapers, with the memorandum of understanding with the Islamic Republic of Iran (…) They wanted to twist my arm for years so that I would pay them anything, and I refused to pay them anything”, expressed the former president, seemingly on the verge of tears, in a virtual hearing convened by the Oral Federal Criminal Court 8 to study requests for annulment of the case.
Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was investigating the attack on the Jewish community center that left 85 dead and remains unpunished, was found dead in 2015 with a shot in the head – under circumstances that are still being investigated – four days after accusing the then-president and several of her collaborators of having tried to cover up for the suspects of the attack, something she has always denied and that she again attributed today to judicial persecution driven by the government of Mauricio Macri (2015-2019).
“This agreement (with Iran) had a single objective: to ensure that those accused of having been the ideological authors of the attack against the Israeli group could be questioned by the judge because without questioning there was no possibility of prosecution, much less trial,” she said and recalled that this agreement was sanctioned in Congress but never entered into force because the Iranian parliament did not approve it.
AN “ARMED” PLAN
In her long speech at the hearing, in which other defendants were also present, Fernández showed an old newspaper publication in which she is seen together with the then Iranian president, Mahmud Ahmadinejad: “(it showed us) as if we had a pact with the devil. These requests were paid by the Argentine Tax Force, a shock group of the Vulture Funds to twist our arm”, she emphasized.
In her opinion, the cause for the memorandum has to do with paying “what they wanted” to those funds, a portion of creditors – 7% of the total, according to Fernández – that did not accept the debt restructurings of 2005 and 2010 and with which the Macri government ended up reaching an agreement when it came to power.
“Because after we paid the funds, everyone said that the bonanza was going to come for Argentina because a lot of investment capital was going to come. And they paid, they reached the agreement and removed the padlock we had put so that they would not pay in a different way from what we had paid to all those who had accepted the restructuring”, said the current vice-president.
With another document in hand, Kirchner highlighted how much the public debt increased during Macri’s presidency.
“No funds came to invest in production and generate work and welfare joy and happiness. They came for financial gambling”, sentenced the leader of Kirchnerist Peronism, who was convinced that the case for the memorandum and others in which she is charged respond to a plan “set up” to denigrate her and her political colleagues.
“And that the Argentine people can weakly surrender to what they always did from outside: to dominate us through the debt”, she asserted, seemingly moved.
Kirchner regretted that the investigation of the AMIA bombing became from the beginning “a theater of operations of domestic and international politics”, and reiterated her desire to know the truth of what happened around that attack.
And in her speech, she pointed especially against Macri, whose government she said had a “clear orientation” of “taking control” of the Judiciary “to use it as an instrument of persecution of his political opponents.”
In particular, she accused the former president of meeting on many occasions with two of the judges who confirmed rulings against her: “Do you really want to make us believe that all these judicial cases are legitimate and legal?”