Monday
September 1, 2014

As juror takes medical leave

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rumours fly at Campagnoli trial

By Luciana Bertoia
Herald Staff
The impeachment trial against suspended prosecutor José María Campagnoli will probably be postponed until next week as all eyes focus firmly on Cristina Martínez Córdoba, one of the members of the jury whose vote could define Campagnoli’s fate, and who yesterday surprisingly requested medical leave.

Her absence led to rumours and accusations from both parties. Campagnoli’s lawyer, former Radical Party lawmaker Ricardo Gil Lavedra, raised questions about whether the jury member had faced pressure from government officials. Campagnoli echoed those concerns.

Prosecutor Adolfo Villate — who accuses Campagnoli of malfeasance and interfering with a colleague’s investigation — also said pressure was to plame for Martínez Córdoba’s leave but blamed someone else: the media.

“She is under pressure, as many of us are,” Villate told the Herald. “Several defamatory articles were published against those members of the impeachment tribunal who are allegedly going to vote for Campagnoli’s removal.”

There are three members of the impeachment tribunal who reportedly are going to vote in favour of Campagnoli: Juan Octavio Gauna (the Supreme Court’s representative), Francisco Panero (Argentine Federation of Bar Associations) and Adriana Donato (Buenos Aires City Bar Association). According to conservative daily La Nación, the other three members of the tribunal who will reportedly cast their votes to remove Campagnoli are federal prosecutor Daniel Adler, Rodolfo Ojea Quintana (the Senate’s representative) and Ernesto Kreplak (the Executive’s representative). That is why Martínez Córdoba, the Public Defence’s representative, is in the middle of the crossfire. She was in favour of impeaching Campagnoli but during the proceeding she reportedly changed her mind.

Martínez Córdoba will be on leave until Monday but if she decides to postpone her return, the court might have to define if a substitute can be appointed. Martínez Córdoba can be replaced by Leonardo Miño.

Gil Lavedra explained to the Herald that the trial cannot be held up for more than 10 days. “There is an institutional responsibility.” He and Villate agreed that if Martínez Córdoba were to resign her seat in the tribunal, she can be replaced by Miño.

The tribunal has said that the final arguments will be heard next Monday at 10am. Villate told the Herald that he will insist on the accusation that Campagnoli tried to investigate a crime that was being analyzed in a federal court and that he leaked information to the press. He also told the Herald that they are going to accuse Campagnoli of using the Criminal Investigations Secretariat (SIPE) — which is in charge of investigating crimes committed by unknown authors — for his own benefit.

On Tuesday, Campagnoli is expected to address the court before it delivers its verdict. During the proceeding, Campagnoli refused to answer questions from the tribunal or the prosecutors Villate and Marcelo García Berro.

@lucianabertoia

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