BUENOS AIRES – Argentine Cabinet chief Anibal Fernandez ramped up his attacks on Tuesday against the creators of a television news report linking him to drug-trafficking operations.
Besides bringing a complaint for libel, Fernandez said he plans to cite the reporters for violation of election laws, because they aired the story a week ahead of the primaries in which he is seeking the ruling party nomination for governor of Buenos Aires province.
“The electoral code says that actions are not permitted that seek to swing the vote with stories that are lies and inventions, as in this case,” Fernandez said.
During his daily press conference, the Cabinet chief slammed the fact that opposition lawmaker Elisa Carrio let her house be used for journalist Jorge Lanata’s interview of former policeman Jose Luis Salerno, one of the declarations that tied Fernandez to the 2008 murder of three drug traffickers.
Fernandez extended his counterattack to Julian Dominguez, his rival for the gubernatorial nomination.
“We see that they went to celebrate. They went to celebrate the situation,” the Cabinet chief said when asked about the appearance of Dominguez and running mate Fernando Espinoza on a popular Monday-night television program.
Lanata’s program, aired Sunday, featured Salerno and a man convicted in the 2008 triple-murder accusing Fernandez of collecting piles of cash produced by drug trafficking.
They also charged Fernandez with masterminding the multiple murder, without providing any documentary evidence to back the accusation.
The subject heated up the campaign for next Sunday’s primaries.
The murder victims – Sebastian Forza, Leopoldo Bina and Damian Ferron – were involved in a ring that trafficked ephedrine, an ingredient used to make crystal meth.
They disappeared Aug. 7, 2008, while on their way to a meeting at a shopping center in Buenos Aires province, and their bodies were found a week later in ditch alongside a highway.