Another judicial setback for Melazo in the cause of the "Megabanda"

The Court of Appeals and Guarantees of the fair in La Plata today rejected the appeal presented by the defense against the denial of release to the former judge of Guarantees Cesar Melazo, detained in the Ezeiza prison for more than three years, in the case called of the “mega-gang”, made up of ex-magistrates, policemen, ex-convicts and bars, which would be dedicated to committing various crimes in our region, apparently with judicial coverage.

In this sense, sources from the Courts reported that the chambermaids Raúl Dalto and Juan Benavides confirmed the decision issued by judges Santigo Paolini, Silvia Hoerr and Andrés Vitali, who make up the Oral Criminal Court II of La Plata, in charge of the trial for the case of the “megabanda”.

That resolution was appealed to the Chamber by the defendant’s defense, in charge of the lawyers Christian Romano and Juan Pesquera, and finally the rise confirmed the actions of the Court II.

In his vote, the chambermaid Dalto said “the time of deprivation of liberty (3 years and 4 months) that Melazo has been serving is not disproportionate or unreasonable”, because “the procedural dangers duly evaluated continue to apply.”

He also explained that the defendant “is accused and summoned to oral proceedings in order to the alleged commission of the crimes of illicit association -attributed to him the role of boss-, illegal possession of a firearm for civil conditional use -9 facts-, possession illegal firearm for civil use -6 facts-. With which, in a preliminary way, it is noted that the applications made by the defenders based on the criminal scale that they consider applicable is wrong; this is not the procedural moment to discuss the legal qualification -as it seems to be implied- “.

“In that order,” he added, “the defenders also err on the understanding that, according to the accusation that weighs on the former judge, the criminal scale would begin in three years in prison. In this regard, I have already issued it, stating: ‘ I appreciate that the procedural danger of flight is manifested with special importance, considering the gravity and plurality of attributed crimes, the characteristics of the fact framed in the terms of article 210 of the Penal Code and the role presumably exercised by the deceased within the framework of the association illicit, as well as the magnitude of the sentence in expectation resulting from the competition of the illicit convicts; which starts from a minimum of five years in prison due to being attributed the role of head of the association, as the case was brought to trial ‘”.

This case began in 2014, when the La Plata criminal prosecutor Betina Lacki began to investigate the crime of Juan Roberto Farías, which occurred on December 1, 2010, at 44 between 26 and 27). The first prosecutor, Tomás Moran, was displaced after one of the defendants, Javier Ronco, denounced that he had asked him for $ 30,000 to remove him from the case, through a lawyer from La Plata. Moran is one of the officials who ended up being prosecuted (he was arrested and remains under house arrest) in an investigation that resulted from the “megacause”.

Lacki’s hypothesis is that Farías fell under “friendly fire” a few months after a spectacular scruff at the home of soccer coach Roberto Zapata, at 13 between 70 and 71, that the leaders of the band had ordered “not to touch” .

The robbery happened when Zapata and his family were celebrating a birthday in a room in the center of La Plata, among whose guests was Melazo. The criminals entered by making a hole in the roof of the house and forced a safe in which, according to what was declared at the time, there were 60 thousand pesos, jewelry and documentation.

The hypothesis is that Farías ignored the order of the chiefs and wanted to generate an exemplary sanction. Also, get the money (one version mentioned that it would have been, in reality, a millionaire sum).

After four years of an investigation that Lacki faced with the Federal Police because there were suspected Buenos Aires officials, in July 2018 the first 18 raids and nine arrests were made, including those of three policemen and even the brother of a former soccer player famous.

The scandal grew a month later, with the capture of Melazo, Rubén “El Tucumano” Herrera (former leader of the Estudiantes brave bar) and Enrique “Quique” Petrullo.

In addition to the three of them, the former commissioner of the Segunda de La Plata, Gustavo Abraham Bursztyn; former police officer Gustavo Gregorio Mena; Javier Maximiliano Ronco (who was home for the double crime of a couple on the “Black Road”); Guardian Angel “Pipi” Yalet; former police officer Adrián Oscar “Quichua” Manes; Héctor Alfredo “Pepe” Vega; and Carlos Jorge Bertoni (brother of the former soccer player, Daniel).

Martín Ezequiel “Gaucho” Fernández, Carlos “Macha” Barroso Luna, Marcos Chiusaroli, were released during the process but will face trial; while Jorge Gómez de Saravia, alias “El Fiscal”, was dismissed.

The prosecutor also requested, at the time, the arrest of another of those linked to the case, the former member of Chamber V of the Court of Cassation, Judge Martín Ordoqui, but it was not specified because the magistrate has jurisdiction and now faces a jury.

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