Politics 09-10-2018

Argentine organization will denounce judges for delay in case against former president Menem

An Argentine organization will denounce before the Magistrate Council all the judges "responsible for the unjustified delays" in the cause of the illegal sale of arms to Ecuador and Croatia in which former president and senator Carlos Menem ended being acquitted by delinquency of Justice.

"The Civil Association for Equality and Justice (ACIJ) will submit a complaint to the Council of the Magistracy," said judicial sources consulted by Sputnik.

The institution will request the body that must control the performance of the judges to investigate the eventual responsibility of the responsible persons in the judiciary who intervened in the file since its inception.

"It is necessary that the Judicial Council investigate the reasons for this excessive procedural delay and apply disciplinary sanctions to those judges who have unreasonably delayed the case," ACIJ said in a statement.

The entity will also request the intervention of the Supreme Court.

The maximum criminal court of the country, the Federal Chamber of Criminal Cassation, decreed the prescription of the case in which the former president had been convicted of arms trafficking to Ecuador and Croatia.

The case, which lasted 23 years in total, was opened in 1995 and was transferred to the federal orbit, which ordered the house arrest of Menem in 2001 until a Supreme Court decision with judges related to the ex-president favored him and passed the file to the economic criminal jurisdiction.

In 2008, the oral trial that resolved the acquittal of Menem was held, but Casación objected to the ruling and Menem was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in 2013 by the Oral Criminal Court No. 3.

The sentence was ratified in 2017, but Menem appealed until the high criminal court of the country ended up absolving him for the passage of time.


During the Balkan War (1991-1995), the United Nations decreed an international embargo on the arms trade with the republics that made up the former Yugoslavia, including Croatia.

But bypassing the embargo, the Menem government began sending arms to Croatia in 1991, and then between 1993 and 1995.

His administration also sold arms to Ecuador in 1995, when Quito was at war with Peru and although Argentina was one of the four guarantors of the Protocol of Rio de Janeiro, a peace treaty signed after the 1941 war, which established the border limits between both countries.

In both cases, it was a contraband of weapons that violated international commitments and whose execution and concealment included a plot of crimes.

The most serious was the intentional explosion of a weapons factory in the city of Rio Tercero (center), to hide the disappearance of weapons smuggled and that caused the death of seven people, injured more than 300, destruction of dozens of housing and extensive damage in that urban center in the province of Córdoba (center).


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