The federal judge Julián Ercolini prosecuted to the former Undersecretary of Coordination and Control of the Ministry of Planning Roberto Baratta and dismissed businessmen and executives of the Techint firm in the investigation for alleged improper payments arising from the so-called “Cause of the Notebooks”.
The magistrate considered that there were the alleged payments outlined in the photocopies of the former driver of the Ministry of Planning Oscar Centeno, although exempted entrepreneurs from responsibilities, because he argued that the money disbursements would have been to avoid “serious damage to liberty and integrity“of people linked to the multinational.
The dismissals dictated by Ercolini -which these days are subrogated by the court that was in charge of the late judge Claudio Bonadio- benefited to the CEO of Techint, Paolo Rocca; to the director of the company Luis Betnaza Y to the supposed person in charge of delivering the money Hector Zabaleta, according to the ruling that was known this Tuesday.
During the judicial investigation, one of the directors of the Techint corporation argued that the alleged payments were linked to the need for the Kirchner government to take steps with the administration of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela (2008) for the alleged expropriation of the steel company SIDOR .
“I understand that although the conduct attributed to Betnaza and Zabaleta (of ordering and executing the payments, respectively, to a public official) could have criminal relevance in terms of its typical adequacy, I consider that, based on the proven facts that have been outlined, there would have been a cause of justification, in the terms of article 336, paragraph 5. of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Nation, which entails the issuance of the dismissal of those named, “said Judge Ercolini.
“His actions would have had the sole and forced motivation to avoid serious damage to the freedom and integrity of the people who worked in Venezuela in one of the companies of the economic group to which they belonged,” said the magistrate.
Then he argued – in relation to Baratta – that “the absence of responsibility in the events of the businessmen to whom the delivery of the money was attributed -which originated from the official’s demand in an emergency situation-, It does not prevent the receipt of money by the public official involved from turning out to be a conduct that is directly subsumed under the criminal type analyzed“.
It is worth remembering that, months ago, Ercolini himself filed for “impossibility of proceeding” a complaint for alleged concealment as a result of the appearance of six supposed original notebooks written by the driver Oscar Centeno, the same ones that had supposedly been destroyed. The magistrate decided to file “due to impossibility of proceeding, until new elements are obtained that allow clarifying the facts under investigation.” the complaint filed by one of the businessmen prosecuted in the Cuadernos case, Néstor Otero.