Employees from the Unit for Assisting Cases of Human Rights Violations respond to claims by Mercedes Soiza ReillyFriday, January 6, 2017
Right to reply — ‘ESMA mega-case trial is in full progress’
The following text was sent to the Herald regarding a recent interview with former ex-ESMA megatrial prosecutor Mercedes Soiza Reilly, published Friday, November 25, 2016, who alleged that her recent resignation “has to do with a political issue.” We are reproducing the letter here as a “Right to reply.”
In light of the statements by Mercedes Soiza Reilly published in the November 25 edition of the Buenos Aires Herald, we have decided to make public some views of our own regarding the intervention of the Unit for Assisting Cases of Human Rights Violations during State Terrorism (under the Attorney General’s Office) as an ad hoc prosecutor in the so-called “ESMA mega-case.”
We would like to point out that while it was never our intention to air via the press the way we were victims, we consider that the expressions of Mercedes Soiza Reilly warrant a reply since they reflect a manifestly distorted view of the reality which clearly damages our image as workers in the judicial branch.
Firstly, we would like to clarify that Mercedes Soiza Reilly did not resign for “political reasons” but was taken off the “ESMA mega-case” as the result of our denouncing her for violence and harassment in the workplace. This case is currently in the hands of the national Prosecutor General’s Office and we are awaiting the progress of proceedings in order to testify concerning the situations we suffered for almost four years while we worked under her orbit.
For this reason we would like to underline that, under no circumstances, was there a political or ideological persecution of Mercedes Soiza Reilly but instead we are talking about the grave misconduct of an official, about which we are only going to say that it seriously affected our physical and psychological health. But we believe that the correct way of emerging from this situation is via internal proceedings, precisely in order to avoid this conflict becoming unnecessarily politicised or exposed in the media.
At the same time it is necessary to point out that the trial of the “ESMA mega-case” is in full progress with the presentation of the public defender’s arguments ongoing at this moment, so in no way can it be said that this trial is paralysed. While it is true that only two hearings a week are being held, this is not due to Mercedes Soiza Reilly being taken off the case but is solely because of the way the hearings are organised by the Tribunal Oral Federal No. 5 court, which is the organ empowered with setting the pace of this trial.
Lastly, we would like to state that this case has currently been entrusted to the prosecutors Abel Darío Córdoba and Ángeles Ramos, who have taken up the challenge of going ahead with the trial in this context (which we especially value), and toward whom we take as a lack of respect this false description of the case as being paralysed.
For that reason we hope that whenever it is necessary to communicate the advances in the “ESMA mega-case” from the viewpoint of the Attorney General’s office, that they be the ones consulted because we believe that they are the authorised voices and the valid conversation partners for transmitting a message about what is going on with the case.
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