The Anti-Corruption Office appealed on Monday the ruling that reversed the bribery prosecution of Luis Betnaza, director of Techint in the cause of notebooks. With that presentation, the OA also asked that the prosecutions of the vice president be signed. Cristina Kirchner, his former Minister of Planning Julio De Vido, his former secretary, José María Olazagasti; the coordinator Roberto Baratta and the former holder of the OCCOVi, Claudio Uberti.
The presentation, to which he agreed Infobae, was done before the judge Marcelo Martínez De Giorgi, that last week had revoked the prosecutions dictated in the Techint chapter of the case notebooks. That ruling had arranged to dictate the lack of merit to those involved only for the events that involved Techint, while the investigation is deepened in search of knowing if the payments made by that group, discovered in the notebooks of Oscar Centeno, « Could have been linked to emergency reasons in the context of the nationalization of the SIDOR company in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ”.
Now, the OA -in its role as a plaintiff- demanded that the prosecutions remain firm while this issue is clarified, and stressed that -beyond the justifications- it was Betnaza himself who admitted the case before the late judge Claudio Bonadio who had given that money to government officials of Cristina Kirchner.
« At this point, the justifying status in which Betnaza intends to place itself is not enough to dispose of its lack of merit nor that of its co-defendants, » maintains the presentation of the body led by Felix Croux.
According to the OA lawyers, from the statements of Betnaza, in investigation and of Héctor Zabaleta -ex-director of Administration of Techint- in his agreement as repentant it is clear that there was « the payment of money to public officials ». Both assured that this money was delivered during « the nationalization process carried out by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to one of the Techint group plants »
« Charged and done are defined by those who say they have paid the OA argued. The difference in Zabaleta’s situation is that it is placed as a kind of instrument used by Betnaza for spurious payments, previously agreed by the latter, without excluding the participation in the events of Paolo Rocca, CEO of the Techint group ”. Bonadio had prosecuted Rocca but the Federal Chamber reversed that decision. in April 2019.
The OA continued: “One does not have to be very insightful to appreciate that Betnaza’s defense intends to place his ward as a victim of illegal demands and that he would have acted under duress or under a justifying state of necessity. But this construction to which the defense points collides seriously with the fact that at the same time as the supposed humanitarian crisis in Venezuela was taking place, a millionaire compensation was being negotiated as a result of the expropriation. On the other hand, the situation described by Betnaza and his ‘eventual’ finding, in no way alleviates the responsibility of the officials in the events. ”
The presentation maintained that « the defense presented documentation that makes the nationalization of its plant in Venezuela and offered the testimony of people who appear related to the business group to which Betnaza and Zabaleta belong », but they highlighted that, unlike the prosecutor Carlos Stornelli, the complaints insisted on accusing for the crime of bribery in the car of elevation to trial.
In the appeal, the position of the OA itself was cited when the head of the body was Laura Alonso and it was requested that the case go to trial: there it was argued that “this case is very unique because it started from what was paid in concepts of bribes ”and that the reasons for the payment do not matter because“ what constitutes the act is the corrupt pact ”, and because“ it is not possible to establish that one acted under the threat of serious evil ”. Thus, they reviewed Zabaleta’s words that he said he had paid because Baratta threatened to cut off the gas from his companies or the importation of pipes from China, but – according to the OA – the two were complying with a previous agreement made by their superiors. «
« Both Paolo Rocca and Betnaza himself are important businessmen, with a long history, who can meet with presidents or call them by phone and be attended to by more than they are not in the country. What was wanted is that members of the local criminal organization « , that is to say, the illicit association attributed to having led Cristina Kirchner, » did something related to their duties, which was to intervene according to their obligations in order to defend the interests of nationals abroad, interests that could be humanitarian, but also patrimonial. They were paying to defend the interests of the company abroad ”, noted the OA.
The complaint recalled that it was « Betnaza himself who acknowledged in the summary the existence of meetings with national officials related to compensation » and stated that « none of this was even dealt with » by Judge Martínez De Giorgi when revoking the prosecutions.
« There are those who say they have paid under duress and that they rely on justifying grounds, Betnaza. On the other hand, those who agreed to the payments, those who received them and those who would have carried out some activity based on their positions before the Venezuelan authorities, he said. Respectfully, these shortcomings disqualify « the ruling issued last week » and produces a setback in the processing of the cause that affects due process, because it appears to revoke processes that were firm. «
Finally, it was added: “This part and the UIF complaint have already produced requests for elevation to trial, which now by the decision to dictate faults, are in limbo. They are not null acts (…) If the Prosecutor maintains his position of not requiring, it is possible that the cause continues with the sole impulse of the complaints, hence the state of affairs should not be altered, and in all In this case, the Judge had to notice this situation and agree to what he wrongly decided in our opinion by revoking the prosecutions confirmed by the Appeal, maintaining as valid and current acts those related to the accused that were required. This also generates a grievance, because it violates due process. ”
After this presentation, the topic will now be for study by Chamber I of the Federal Chamber, in charge of the judges Leopoldo Bruglia and Pablo Bertuzzi.