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Properties, trips abroad and luxury cars, the life of the federal judge accused of favoring prisoners

2021-05-08T00:35:24.054Z

Between 2007 and 2017, Walter Bento made 69 trips and logged 761 days outside the country. Between 2017 and 2021 he went out 20 times: he added 264 days abroad.



Roxana Badaloni

05/06/2021 3:33 PM

  • Clarín.com

  • Police

Updated 05/06/2021 3:33 PM

The file investigating federal judge Walter Bento, accused of collecting bribes and favoring drug traffickers and smugglers, advanced this Thursday with the arrest of the third lawyer involved in the alleged criminal gang that had been operating since 2013 in Mendoza.

In total there are 15 defendants

, including the 48-year-old magistrate and his wife Marta Boiza, 55, who is also a judicial official.

At 9 in the morning the lawyer Luciano Ortego -ex-son-in-law of Emir Yoma, brother-in-law of former President Carlos Saúl Menem- appeared in the federal courts of Mendoza, after being a fugitive for 24 hours.

Ortego, along with lawyers Martín Ríos and Matías Aramayo, who were already in custody, are considered for the accusation as a fundamental part of the operation of the criminal network that

granted judicial favors to prisoners to obtain a low criminal rating and prompt release

.

The three lawyers would be the ones who captured clients with heavy causes of smuggling, counterfeiting and drug trafficking and through a facilitator - it would be a Customs dispatcher and a murdered businessman - they reached the criminal judge, who ruled in favor of these prisoners.

The cause talks about the

payment of bribes that ranged from 50 thousand to 200 thousand dollars

.

Raids in the case investigating federal judge Walter Bento.

Photo: Orlando Pelichotti / Los Andes

Judge Bento was indicted last Wednesday for illicit association, bribery, money laundering and illicit enrichment in a case that hits one of the most powerful magistrates of the Cuyana Justice.

His peer, San Rafael Judge Eduardo Puigdéngolas, endorsed Attorney General Dante Vega's request to formally accuse Bento as “

head of a band of lawyers and prisoners

who collected bribes in exchange for judicial favors from defendants in smuggling and drug trafficking cases. ”.

The cause

The investigation that shocks the federal courts of Mendoza began to be instructed in March of last year, based on two specific facts: the data that appeared on the phone of the detainee Walter Bardinella Donoso, accused of drug trafficking, and the statements of Diego Barrera, the main defendant for the kidnapping and homicide of the businessman and customs agent Diego Aliaga.

Bento is the head of the Federal Court No. 1 of Mendoza since 2005 and

the judge with electoral jurisdiction in the province

.

For many years, he was also in charge of the Federal Court 2 as surrogate.

In December 2011, Bento ordered the controversial raid on the Cablevisión company.

The following year, Kirchnerism, in an express treatment, prevented the Judicial Council from judging him for poor performance.

Among the evidence that the prosecutor has there are WhatsApp messages, recurring telephone calls between the judge and the murdered Aliaga and testimonies from people who claim that they asked them between 50 thousand and 200 thousand dollars to access judicial benefits that would allow lowering the rating of the crimes against him and access to parole benefits.

Many of these testimonials claim that they paid

.

Therefore, one line of investigation points to illicit enrichment and money laundering from the collection of bribes.

With this qualification that is imputed to him, the Mendoza judge risks a prison sentence that ranges from a minimum of 5 to 41 years in jail.

Bento's wife, Marta Boiza, who works as a secretary in his court, is also charged with illicit enrichment and money laundering.

Luxury living

The Bento couple and two of their young children, Luciano and Nahuel, work in the Federal Justice.

The sum of the family's monthly income from their gross salaries amounts to $ 1.8 million pesos.

Even with these high state revenues, the prosecutor ensures that the family's assets, with

several properties, luxury cars and the way of life

- several trips a year to Las Vegas, Miami and other destinations abroad -

do not match their declared income

s.

A report from the National Migration Directorate, requested by the Prosecutor's Office, showed that between 2007 and 2017, Judge Bento

made 69 trips

and registered a total of 761 days outside the country.

Between 2017 and 2021 he left Argentina 20 times, for a total of 264 days abroad.

According to the newspaper

El Sol

, Migrations was able to verify that the magistrate's "escapades" were by plane and most of them accompanied by his wife to their favorite destinations:

Miami and Las Vegas

.

The Bento couple registered 9 properties in their name, most of them in private neighborhoods in the most expensive areas of Greater Mendoza.

Raids in the case investigating federal judge Walter Bento.

Photo: Orlando Pelichotti / Los Andes

In the detail of the cars that the judge's family had, they appear: a Volkswagen Amarok pickup, which is the only vehicle in the judge's name;

an Audi van valued at more than 4.3 million pesos, in the name of his disabled son but the family members had driving licenses;

and two other Audi vehicles that exceed one and a half million pesos.

In addition to the judge, his wife and the three lawyers, among those arrested are four people who have been implicated in federal smuggling or tax evasion cases.

They are singled out as those who paid the bribes.

Bento has immunity as a magistrate and

will be able to continue in office

.

The only way to remove a judge from office is through the jury of prosecution.

EMJ

Look also

They accuse a federal judge of Mendoza of collecting bribes to favor prisoners

They investigate a federal judge from Mendoza in a case for bribery

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2021-05-08

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