06/23/2020 - 11:05
Federal judge Marcelo Martínez De Giorgi reversed one of the prosecutions that fell on Cristina Kirchner, former officials Julio De Vido and Roberto Baratta and Techint director Luis Betnaza, among the main ones, in a derivative of the cause of the notebooks of the bribes where alleged bribes were analyzed to intercede with Hugo Chávez when he decided to expropriate the Sint steel plant from Techint. The magistrate determined that trial measures continue and the investigation is deepened . In this file, the accusation against the CEO of the company, Paolo Rocca, had already been reversed.
This file focused only on the alleged crimes of the Techint Group in relation to its company "Siderúrgica de Orinoco" - SIDOR - that was in Venezuela. A former member of the company involved in the notebooks case, Héctor Zabaleta, entered the program of accused collaborators and said that De Vido had asked the company for money in exchange for expediting the payment of compensation for the expropriation of SIDOR , which Chávez had performed in 2008.
The situation was reconstructed in the case. According to Zabaleta confessed, when the executives of the firm went to the national government to ask them to intercede to obtain the collection from the company, they were received by Claudio Uberti (former head of the Road Concession Control Body), Julio De Vido, José María Olazagasti and Roberto Baratta.
In this context, as the case had established, the government officials -among whom De Vido had a preponderant participation- " began to ask the directors of the company for money to manage with the Government of Venezuela , with Héctor Zabaleta in charge to agree with Baratta on how to make the payments and the amount of the payments ". Part of these alleged payments were recorded in the notebooks written by Oscar Centeno, former driver of Baratta, the content of which started the mega case for corruption of the bribery notebooks, already elevated to oral trial.
For this circuit of alleged bribes, Judge Claudio Bonadio had prosecuted the managers of Techint, the former members of the Ministry that De Vido led and the vice president, accused as the head of the illicit association that was dedicated to raising illegal funds . When the Buenos Aires Federal Chamber confirmed part of the accusations and reversed the prosecution of Paolo Rocca, the evidence measures were continued.
It was understood at that time that the investigation "was not complete and that measures to deepen the investigation regarding the eight payments that would have been made to public officials on behalf of the Techint group, linked to the circumstances surrounding the nationalization of the Sidor company. "
Now, Judge Martínez De Giorgi - who is now in charge of the court that belonged to Bonadio - ratified that line: he considered that to determine the degree of responsibility - or not - of the accused, "it is appropriate to order the carrying out of various measures of try to clarify these aspects. "
Based on this, "deepening the investigation is essential in order to determine if the payments made by the" Techint Group " could be linked to emergency reasons in the context of the nationalization of the SIDOR company in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ", maintains the resolution to which Clarín agreed .
For this reason, the prosecution against those involved was revoked, dictating a lack of merit to continue the investigation. "For these purposes, it would be pertinent to listen in a testimonial statement to the directors, presidents and CEOs of the firms" Ternium "and" Sidor " , which were proposed by the Attorney General," the judge maintained.
Also, explained in the resolution, "it would be appropriate to incorporate herewith the trips made by the accused to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the context of the nationalization of the SIDOR company, as well as to determine the existence of communications that have been registered among those charged in that period. "