Carlos Rosenkrantz, President of the Supreme Court. He was challenged by Tabacalera Sarandí in one of the cases that the highest court understands

Tabacalera Sarandí, an Argentine company that is dedicated to the distribution and manufacture of different brands of cigarettes, challenged the president of the Supreme Court, Carlos Rosenkrantz, in a case that has the national state on its face as a defendant, but whose resolutions could end up favoring two large multinational companies: Philip Morris and British American Tobacco.

Based on different newspaper articles, lawyers Elías Jassan, Maximiliano Rusconi and Gabriel Palmeiro requested that the highest authority of the court not be part of the deliberations in the file due to different circumstances that could represent a conflict of interest. « It is noted by various ways how a close interest and a concrete link is evidenced”With the issues to be resolved during the litigation, they pointed out.

In the cited notes, not only is reference made to an alleged closeness of Rosenkrantz with the large international tobacco companies, but it is also noted that his daughter, Julia Rosenkrantz, is part of Marval O’Farrell Mairal, a legal firm that defends the interests of Philip Morris in the country through his partner, Massalin Individuals. A simple search in the computer system of the Judiciary reveals that the members of that prestigious law firm intervene in all the tax cases that have Massalin among their parts, the lawyers argued in a letter to which they agreed Infobae.

It was further noted that Alberto Tarsitano, a lawyer for British American Tobacco (his local subsidiary is Nobleza Picardo), maintains a close relationship with Gabriel Bouzat, former partner of the President of the Supreme Court in private activity.

The sponsors of Tabacalera Sarandí also placed the magnifying glass on Gustavo Naveira, secretary of the Court, who in December 2019 hired Diana Queirolo, a professional who worked at the AFIP and who had participated in this same case in defense, as part of his team of the interests of the national State.

« In this line, it is of interest and relevance for the purposes of this presentation to highlight that the secretary, Dr. Naveira, who has the absolute direction of the office of these proceedings was appointed by Dr. Rosenkrantz in charge of the Secretariat No. 7 of the Court displacing who had won a contest for the officeJassan, Rusconi and Palmeiro highlighted.

Finally, emphasis was placed on the belonging of the President of the Court with the province of Corrientes –his mother lives there– and in a meeting that he would have had with Governor Gustavo Valdés to learn about the details that are discussed in this case. That province is one of those harmed by the denounced maneuver.

The Civil and Commercial Procedural Code expressly prescribes that judges should not intervene in cases where they were defenders of any of the litigants or issued any type of opinion, recommendation or opinion. Neither if they have friendship with any of the parties, that is noticed in the familiarity or the frequency of the treatment, or if they received important benefits from any of them.

The case

Tabacalera Sarandí, which markets the popular Red Point brand, accused Philip Morris and British American Tobacco and government officials of Mauricio Macri of alleged irregular maneuvers to approve the tax reform, which reduced rates for large corporations and introduced a minimum tax hurting small and medium-sized companies. With the application of the new rule, the smaller companies should sell their brands at prices that would leave them out of the market, so they filed a claim with the Justice.

The accusation, which began before the Federal Criminal and Correctional Court No. 4, indicates that outdated and false reports and information were used to promote that tax system, included in the tax reform of Law 27,430.

Thanks to these tax benefits, it is estimated that in Argentina they stopped collecting $ 300,000 million. At the same time, the tax cut favored the two giants that dominate 80% of the cigarette market.

« The minimum income tax, due to its magnitude, eliminates the local industry from the market since it exceeds the sale prices to the public of almost all of its brands, which would lead to the closure of numerous companies and the loss of thousands of jobs direct and indirect”, They explained from the company with seat in the province of Buenos Aires.

The case reached the Court, which is preparing to issue a resolution after the end of the extraordinary fair for the coronavirus.