The corruption trial of former Argentina president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, set to begin next week, has been postponed until May, authorities said on Monday.
Judicial sources today confirmed that the trial had been pushed back to May 21, given health problems experienced by Judge Jorge Tassara, of Federal Oral Court No. 2. The first hearing was scheduled for February 24, but as a result of Tassara's health problems – he will undergo a triple bypass surgery – a decision was made to postpone the beginning of oral and public trial against the former president.
It is one of several corruption trials facing the center-left Peronist politician, who turns 66 on Tuesday.
In this case, she is accused of having favoured businessman Lazaro Báez in the attribution of 52 public works contracts worth 46 billion pesos (US$1.2 billion) during the 2007-15 period when she was president.
Next Monday, she is also due to appear before federal judge Claudio Bonadio to answer questions relating to the 'cuardernos' "corruption notebooks" case, in which she is accused of having received tens of millions of dollars in bribes and of leading a criminal association.
Fernández de Kirchner, now a senator with partial parliamentary immunity, claims to be the victim of political persecution from the government of President Mauricio Macri.
Fernández de Kirchner was ordered to be held in pre-trial detention over the corruption notebooks case but her partial parliamentary immunity protects her from imprisonment, although not prosecution.
The 'cuardernos' corruption notebooks scandal revolves around the meticulous records kept by a government chauffeur, Oscar Centeno, of cash bribes he is said to have delivered from businessmen to government officials.
Prosecutor Carlos Stornelli has said a total of US$160 million in bribes was handed over between 2005 and 2015.