In a new chapter of research on the venezuelan plane retained in Ezeiza, and as he had anticipated Page 12the federal judge of Lomas de Zamora Federico Villena ordered new test measures that the prosecutor Cecilia Incardona had requested. The objective of the measures is to determine if the Boeing 747 of Emtrasur currently belongs to the Iranian firm Mahan Air, which US intelligence agencies accuse of having links to terrorism. While the Government defended what was done by the authorities and security forces, the Bicameral Intelligence Commission He announced that next week he will analyze a report that he requested from the AFI on the case and that he already has in his possession.
The Prosecutor’s Office had requested new test measures, 11 in total, which were added to some 46 that had already been launched last week. Judge Villena granted the request and ordered several measures aimed at determining whether the plane continues to belong to Mahan Air or belongs to Emtrasur, as stated by the aircraft’s crew. Although the documentation presented indicates that the plane was sold by the Iranian company to Emtrasur last January, the investigators have doubts.
In addition, the required measures seek to corroborate the information provided by the FBI with the express clarification that it cannot be used judicially, which considers that the Iranian company is associated with terrorist activities in Lebanon. The other key point is the pilot Gholamreza Ghasemi, also suspected of having belonged to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Another series of measures aim to determine if the 19-member crew that arrived in Argentina was the original or not of the plane, and if it underwent changes.
The government’s position
While the judicial investigation continues, the national government once again defended what had been done to date. The Presidency spokeswoman, Gabriela Cerruti, reiterated that “The Argentine government does not have any report that says that the crew members are from Hezbollah, it is absolutely false information. The FBI report, like all those that have arrived, indicates that the Iranian airline company sold its planes to the Venezuelan company,” he said. In that sense, he explained that the plane held in Ezeiza belongs to a Venezuelan company and “that its previous owners belonged to an Iranian firm that was sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury because it could have been linked to a military force” in that country. Cerruti also recalled that the Israeli embassy “issued a statement in the one who said that the Government acted excellently” in the case. “There is a cause in Justice, it will be the one that determines the steps to follow,” the spokeswoman concluded.
The Vice Minister of Justice, Juan Martín Mena, also referred to the case. He maintained that it is “an issue absolutely operated” and that “the pain of the victims” of the attacks on the Israeli Embassy (1992) and the AMIA (1994) are being used politically. Mena stressed that the aircraft “traveled around half the planet” before landing in Argentina, including Mexico and Europe, and “no one took any action in this regard.” “He had no terrorism alerts in any of the internationally approved bases. No country requested his capture, despite that the authorities took preventive measures until the facts are clarified.”
For his part, Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero stressed that Argentina “has not had any communication from any country that implies any type of objection to what the Justice is doing and what the Executive Branch did or is doing” in relation to the Emtrasur plane. Cafiero denied that there had been contacts between the Foreign Ministry and officials from the United States or Israel on this issue and specified that now “the Justice has determined that the investigation be under summary secrecy, with which there are no elements today for analysis.”
The Bicameral Intelligence Commission of Congress requested a report from the Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI) on the agency’s actions in the case of the Venezuelan plane and also requested a copy of the file from Judge Villena. The AFI has already sent the information.
The president of the commission, the deputy of the Frente de Todos Leopoldo Moreau, reported that together with the senator of Together for Change Daniel Kroneberger sent a request to the judge on June 14, but clarified that he has not yet received a response from the magistrate. The commission does have “the AFI report” in its possession and will analyze it at a future meeting, on Wednesday the 29th. called the Bonaerense Judicial Bureau for the illegal espionage against trade unionists during the government of María Eugenia Vidal in the province of Buenos Aires.
The Bicameral had asked the AFI if, prior to the arrival of the flight, it had information about the crew and if there had been any alert about the crew or exchange of information with Paraguay and Brazil.