In a full room, this Tuesday, March 14, the trial began against america balbuenahe spy of the federal police who posed as a journalist and was infiltrated for more than a decade in the Rodolfo Walsh News Agency. From the outset, the Court headed by the federal judge Daniel Rafecas He rejected a petition for annulment and another for the prescription of the criminal action presented by his defense, at the same time that he also opposed in limine a questioning for fear of impartiality linked to his candidacy as attorney general.
The first hearing of the trial in which they are also accused of abuse of authority and violation of duties of a public official Alejandro Sanchez and Alfonso Ustares, their bosses in the Internal Security Analysis Division of the Federal Police, started at 12:30 in Comodoro Py. After reading the accusation, Balbuena’s defense made a motion for annulment of the elevation of the trial and another for the prescription of the criminal action.
Among other things, he argued that “the way in which the case was initiated implies a violation of State secrecy”, because in his opinion “intelligence agents They have the obligation to keep that secret to the point that not even their relatives should know that condition”. When taking the floor, the complaint represented by the lawyer Matías Aufieri maintained that Balbuena “had no legal obligation” to look for a job to justify their income and occupation before society.
The trial begins against a police officer who posed as a journalist to spy on social organizations
Balbuena, present at the hearing along with the other two defendants, is being investigated by violation of duties of a public official and abuse of authority for having infiltrated the Walsh Agency for 11 years and at the request of Sánchez and Ustares, his superiors in the PFA. Posing as a journalist, this spy will obtain information about dozens of social, political, union, student, and human rights organizations through coverage of activities that, according to the requirement for trial, He arrived first and left last.
After listening to the defense statement, the rejection of the complaint and the prosecution represented by Ariel Quety, Rafecas chose to reject the proposals of the accused party.
A curious statement against Rafecas and Bregman
Still in the review of the preliminary questions, the defense of Ustares and Sánchez asked for the floor to incorporate a Proposal for the recusal of Rafecas for “fear of partiality” from his nomination by the Executive Power to cover the position of Attorney General of the Nation, which for three years the Frente de Todos has not been able to advance in the Senate.
But the most striking thing was when the defense stated that the fear of partiality It was explained from the fact that the complaint is integrated by the lawyer Myriam Bregman, who also fulfills functions as a national deputy for the Left Front. The fear was based on the possibility that Bregman should vote in Congress for or against Rafecas’s candidacy.
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Part of the public in the room looked into each other’s eyes and expressed their surprise at the proposal, since it is known that the Chamber of Deputies does not intervene in the process designation of the head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPF). But the judge quickly took the floor and warned that he was going to reject it. in limine.
“Deputy Bregman is part of the National Chamber of Deputies. The specifications (for the Procuratorate) have been in place for three years since the current president promoted it and took it to Parliament to fill the vacancy, but the constitutional mechanism provided does not concern the Chamber of Deputies but the Senate”, Rafecas opened.
“The document is in the Senate and eventually in the future it will be able to be aired and be debated within the framework of the Senate, not in the Chamber of Deputies”, he ratified. To close, regarding the relationship with Bregman, Rafecas said that “The deputy does not belong to any of the decisive blocks on the matter (NdR: belongs to the Left bloc) therefore we are going to reject this proposal in limine”.
Balbuena asked to testify at another hearing
Once the first stage of the hearing was over, the judge offered the defendants the chance to testify. Both Balbuena and Ustares sat on the bench and ratified their investigative statements. but they warned that they would prefer to declare laterwithin the trial.
However, Sánchez chose to testify: first he clarified that a force was made available to guarantee the investigation of the case and then I approach the parties with a folder with test materialas he said, already incorporated into the file.
showed five notes that he exchanged with different political and union organizations in which they asked for the presence of the PFA, after personal cards that according to him gave him references of those organizations and gave some examples of the work carried out. The objective: justify the role of the office he headed in the PFA and show a daily relationship with these groups.
“We take care of the parish priest (José) Di Paola, targeted by drug trafficking; we help to identify in videos of the Mariano Ferreyra case and we collaborate with arrests; our people worked on the survey of Av. 9 de Julio and security measures during the Bicentennial celebrations and we exercised the management of the conflict, ”he declared.
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For Bregman, this retired policeman “attempted to confuse all the time between his own tasks that have helped the Federal Police and the intelligence tasks of this Information Corps where they are net political espionage. He tried to involve everyone and almost the organizations asked them to protect them“.
The witness statement
Then came the turn of witness statements. The first to do so was rodolfo grinbergfounder of the Rodolfo Walsh News Agency and who invited Balbuena to join the project born in the midst of the social outbreak of 2001.
The second witness to testify was Alejandro de Massi, from FM The Tribe, the popular radio in which Balbuena fulfilled the tasks before moving to the agency where he was discovered. He recalled, among other things, that Balbuena no longer appeared on the radio after uA member of the station asked him “if it was a service.”
The hearing will be reinforced until after 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday and will continue on Wednesday the 14th from 9:30 a.m. The declaration of Maria del Carmen Verdu, head of Correpi, of the former disappeared detainee Carlos Lorskipanidse, of the left-wing leader Cristian Castillo and of Oscar Castelnovo, co-founder of the Walsh Agency. The declaration of Claudio Dellecarbonara, from the Metrodelegados union, is also scheduled.
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