(Washington, DC) – Last Friday, Judge Ferenbach in Nevada authorized Jorge Lanata’s motion to intervene in the case NML vs. Argentina (also known as the Nevada’s “K-Money Route case”), and granted our lawyers access to the sealed information. Our lawyers will review this information in the next few days, and will then ask Judge Ferenbach to unseal any evidence that might arise about Lazaro Baez, the Kirchner family, and the scheme through which they stole and laundered more than 60 million dollars
Magistrate Ferenbach opened the hearing with an explanation of protective orders. Paraphrasing: he stated that typically, when a party seeks a protective order, and the other side does not oppose it, the Court will simply grant it. However, by filing a document with the Court under seal, the parties always risk that document becoming part of the public record. While the parties are adequately represented, “The People” are rarely represented in Court. He does his best as Magistrate to represent the people, because the Courts belong to the people. But without a representative for the people actively involved in the case, it is difficult to ensure that the public’s interests are adequately represented.
At one point, Judge Ferenbach cited James Madison in The Federalist Papers. “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” It was a wonderful display that the Judge understands the importance of our Motion and will advocate for the First Amendment.
Beginning in January, once the Court has set the schedule, Lanata’s lawyers will have the opportunity to coordinate with the other attorneys, and review the documents that are currently under seal by the protective order.
In the court order, that was filed right after the hearing finished, the Judge said that: “In addition to experiencing a depression and sovereign-default crisis, Argentina has been plagued by allegations of political corruption. Former President Ne?stor Kirchner and his wife, current President Cristina Ferna?ndez de Kirchner, allegedly awarded lucrative state-controlled projects to various political insiders. The business dealings of two Kirchner insiders are relevant here: La?zaro Ba?ez and Cristobal Lo?pez. In August of 2014, NML demonstrated reasonable suspicion to believe that Ba?ez laundered embezzled state funds through Nevada”.
During an interview, Argentinean journalist Jorge Lanata said, “we went to Nevada to ask the Judge to take into account that the general public has the right to know about what’s happening there. The Judge was very favorable towards our position since it will give the opportunity to the general public to have a voice in the case. I’m sure that in a couple of months we will be able to tell the people who are behind those companies”.
CIJA’s President Ezequiel Vazquez-Ger said in a public statement that Ferenbach decision is a small but important victory in the fight against corruption. “In countries like Argentina, public official are generally able to manipulate the courts, harass the Judges, and persecute the press. But in the United States the judicial system is independent from any power. If our lawyers find out in Nevada any type of information that might provide useful evidence to dismantle Lazaro Baez’s and the Kirchner’s family money laundering schemes, we will make sure that information goes public”, Vazquez-Ger said.
Video: Jorge Lanata Interview in TN