(Washington, DC) – Last night, Argentinean renowned investigative journalist Jorge Lanata announced he is planning to submit an application for an order for discovery pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782 in a Nevada District Court, aiming to obtain information related to President Cristina Kirchner’s companies in the United States.
Section 1782 of Title 28 of the United States Code is a federal statute that allows a party to a legal proceeding outside the United States to ask an American court to obtain evidence for use in the non-US proceeding. The full name of Section 1782 is “Assistance to foreign and international tribunals and to litigants before such tribunals”.
For the last two years, Jorge Lanata has been conducting an investigation known as the “Kirchner Money Route”, through which he demonstrated that Kirchner cronies were laundering millions of dollars coming from corrupt activities through a vast networks of shell companies and shady financial institutions in Argentina, Uruguay, Panamá, Switzerland, Seychelles Islands and the U.S., among others.
This investigation was then used by NML Capital Ltd., a hedge fund who holds a judgment against Argentina for more than $1.7 Billions (see NML Capital Ltd. vs. Republic of Argentina), as the main source of evidence to produce information about 123 companies in the State of Nevada that may point to the location of Cristina Kirchner’s assets in the United States and abroad. NML Capital Ltd. was able to depose a key witness to the “K-Money Route”. However, that deposition is being sealed by the request of the parties.
As a result of these investigations, Jorge Lanata was threatened with legal actions by one of Cristina Kirchner cronies, Lazaro Baez. Baez is the alleged owner of the 123 Nevada companies. According to lawyers’ experts in Section 1782, this threat can be the base to start discovery in the United States for use in a potential legal action in Argentina.
During his Sunday TV show, Lanata said that Argentineans have the right to know about the corrupt activities of elected officials, and that this action aims to find that information.
The Center for Investigative Journalism in the Americas will continue to monitor the development of this case, in an effort to promote transparency and public accountability in Argentina.
Watch Jorge Lanata’s Sunday Editorial video here: