December 22, 2014
Hundreds gather in support of Campagnoli
Media had called for demonstration in favour of suspended prosecutor
Hundreds of people gathered last night in front of the national Attorney-General’s Office to voice their support for suspended prosecutor José María Campagnoli, after the third hearing of the impeachment trial against him for alleged malfeasance finished yesterday.
The allegations against the prosecutor continue to divide public opinion, with members of the opposition citing it as an example of corruption in the courts.
Campagnoli had been investigating Kirchnerite businessman Lázaro Báez but was later suspended for overstepping his jurisdiction and abuse of authority.
Several blocks of Avenida de Mayo were congested with Campagnoli supporters late yesterday evening, who were rallied to the ministry by media outlets and social media users calling on them to gather at 7pm in order to march “in peace against impunity and in support of an independent judiciary.”
A stand was mounted where the prosecutor’s colleagues, family members and partners were scheduled to speak as hundreds stood in the cold carrying signs that read “We’re tired of lies” and “Enough of impunity.”
“This isn’t just the post of a prosecutor that is in play... but the future of the republic, the separation of powers, and the guarantee that we are all equal under the law,” read the letter posted in the Facebook wall of Marcela Campagnoli, the suspended prosecutor’s sister.
The march came just hours after the conclusion of day three of the trial, which proved to be considerably more subdued than Tuesday when a media spectacle unfolded with the testimony of star journalist Jorge Lanata.
Prosecutors Marcelo García Berro and Adolfo Villate insisted that the 1,500-item database of photos taken of residents from the Saavedra neighbourhood, kept by Campagnoli in his office, should be included as evidence.
The issue of the database — which will be addressed again today in court — has been causing controversy for Campagnoli, since it was revealed that the prosecutor and his colleagues kept photos that included images of minors and even a baby.
Yesterday a LGBT-rights group filed a complaint against the suspended official for using this photo album “of people including transvestite and trans people in legal cases.”
The issue was picked up again by the prosecution in yesterday’s hearing, where prosecutors also urged the judge to subpoena three witnesses who worked with Campagnoli in Saavedra — prosecutor Cristina Caamaño, Lucía Orsetti and María Gutíerrez — so the tribunal can learn “about the practices that took place in the prosecutor’s office.”
They have tried to back accusations of malfeasance — based primarily on the idea the prosecutor exceeded his jurisdiction — with the suggestion Campagnoli mismanaged his office, including inappropriately treating his staff members. Campagnoli and his lawyer, Ricardo Gil Lavedra, have rejected the allegations, and yesterday reminded the court in relation to the 1,500 photos that a similar request had previously been rejected.
Herald with DyN, Télam