Argentina: Prosecutor points against Macri for alleged espionage

BUENOS AIRES (HPD) — An Argentine prosecutor has asked a judge to investigate former President Mauricio Macri as allegedly responsible during his tenure for an illegal espionage system that would have targeted close associates and current Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, then a senator of the opposition.

Federal prosecutor Franco Picardi made the request to Judge Marcelo Martínez de Giorgi by requesting the oral trial of the case investigating the alleged espionage in Buenos Aires at the home of the former president (2007-2015) and the Patria Institute that he heads, for in which Gustavo Arribas and Silvia Majdalani, who were heads of the Federal Intelligence Agency during the Macri government (2015-2019), are on trial.

In an opinion reproduced on Tuesday by the official Télam news agency and other media, the prosecutor said that he had concluded the investigation into the participation of Arribas, Majdalani and two other people from the intelligence agency in the illegal maneuvers and at the same time charged Macri of being presumed responsible for them, requesting the judge to advance in this line of investigation.

The Associated Press tried to confirm the request with the court but received no response.

Among those spied on would also have been some close friends of Macri such as his sister Florencia Macri and her partner, according to the opinion on which Martínez de Giorgi will have to rule in the coming days.

The former president, one of the leaders of the opposition alliance Together for Change, has been the subject of several judicial investigations for alleged espionage during his term, a crime that he denies having committed.

Within the framework of one of them, the Federal Chamber of Buenos Aires ruled out at the end of 2021 that there had been an illicit association in the Macri government dedicated to spying, but rather that it was a group of former agents who proceeded on their own to monitor politicians. from different parties, journalists and even a sister of the former president without having the backing of justice to do so.

Attached to that case is the investigation into the espionage of Fernández de Kirchner in 2018. Prosecutor Picardi pointed out that the authorities at the time “presented public documents with false information referring to presumptions of risks and threats” addressed to the former president “who did not were such”, to justify such procedures.

The prosecutor required that a series of test measures and proceedings be carried out, among which is the analysis of Macri’s communications.

Picardi pointed out that the maneuvers investigated configured “a systematic and organized plan from high levels of the State to achieve political and personal objectives.”

In 2021, Macri and his intelligence chiefs were dismissed by the Federal Chamber in another case for alleged espionage, considering that the intelligence tasks that targeted the relatives of the crew members of an Argentine submarine sunk in 2017 – who demanded their search – were not illegal, but were justified to protect presidential security.

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