Businessman Juan Chediack dies after plane crash

The former construction chamber leader was involved in the “cuadernos” corruption probe

Businessman Juan Chediack died on Monday morning after the small plane he was flying in crashed in San Luis city airport on Sunday. The pilot also passed away, and the only other crew member remains hospitalized.

Chediack, 69, former head of the Argentine Construction Sector Chamber (CAMARCO, by its Spanish initials) was the only passenger on the plane. He died after spending the night in intensive care. He suffered burns across most of his body and other severe injuries including compromised airways and a broken leg.

The plane crashed and burst into flames as the pilot, Esteban Asprella, was attempting to land at the Brigadier Cesar Raúl Ojeda airport in San Luis on Sunday morning. All three were admitted to Ramón Carrillo hospital. Asprella died of his injuries on Sunday night.

Crew member Juan Ignacio Bilasio Barbeito is in a critical condition. He has a fractured pelvis and other severe injuries including compromised airways and burns over a large proportion of his body.

The cause of the crash is still unknown. On Sunday night, the wind speed reached over 100 kilometers per hour in San Luis, according to the province’s Meteorological Stations Network.

Chediack was one of the businessmen involved in the case known as the cuadernos (notebooks) case, a judiciary probe that began August 1, 2018, in which hundreds of businesspeople and public officers, including current vice president Cristina Kirchner, were investigated for bribes, irregularities in public works tender and fraud to the public administration allegedly committed during the governments of Cristina and Néstor Kirchner.

The notebooks were allegedly written by Oscar Centeno, who worked as a driver for Roberto Baratta, the right hand man of former Federal Planning Minister Julio De Vido (2003-2015). In them, he allegedly kept track of what he saw while working for Baratta, including how they made him receive and deliver bribes from construction business owners for the tender of public works.

Chediack was one of those who testified as “repentants” to avoid being sentenced.

In October 2022, Fernández de Kirchner was acquitted in the probe after judge Julián Ercolini concluded that there was no evidence that the alleged bribes involving her had ever happened.

— with information from Télam.


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