The Submarine Affair San Juan, whose sinking killed 44 people in 2017, is experiencing a new twist. Former Argentinian President Mauricio Macri briefly appeared on Thursday, October 28, before a judge, who wishes to hear him on accusations of espionage by the secret services of families of victims of the San Juan.
The former president and leader of the center-right opposition appeared before a magistrate in Dolores, 200 kilometers south of Buenos Aires. After about an hour, the hearing was suspended: Pablo Lanusse, Mr. Macri’s lawyer, explained that the court “Do not have[ait] no authorization to lift the secret on intelligence so that [son client] can deposit “.
No new court date has been communicated, but, according to the lawyer, “The animosity and ambition of the judge to prosecute Mr. Macri before the elections in mid-November were clear”. When he arrived in court at the end of the morning, Mr. Macri addressed more than a hundred supporters, denouncing a procedure with political overtones and accusing the power of“To use a tragedy to [lui] harm “, in the middle of an election campaign.
Mr. Macri, 62, was summoned as part of a preliminary investigation led by Judge Martin Bava, for whom the head of state had at the time “Full knowledge” the follow-up carried out by the intelligence services on the families of the crew.
Families spied on
The submarine San Juan had disappeared in November 2017, in the South Atlantic, 400 kilometers from the Patagonian coast. Located a year later at 900 meters deep, the wreck could never be refloated, against the wishes of the families. According to the navy, the submersible, which dated from 1983, had imploded due to a technical failure.
At the time of the tragedy, the families had led an intense campaign to know the fate of the submarine. They claimed to have been subject to surveillance, telephone tapping and intimidation. As part of the same investigation, legal proceedings have already been initiated against two former intelligence chiefs.
“We hope that Macri (…) will tell us the truth about why we were spied illegally ”, Luis Tagliapietra, the father of a missing submariner and a complaining lawyer, told Agence France-Presse. An espionage “More than proven”, according to him.
Mr. Macri, who tried unsuccessfully to challenge Judge Bava, saying his fear of “Bias”, fiercely denied having “Never spied on nor asked that we spy on families”. “We are serene. We know what we have done and our good intentions ”, he repeated, Thursday.
Since his summons at the beginning of October, he has claimed to be the victim of “Persecution” political, against the backdrop of the campaign for partial legislative elections, which will be held in less than a month. Mid-term, the government (center left) of President Alberto Fernandez sees its majority in the Senate threatened.
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Sinking of the Argentinian submarine “San-Juan”: former president Mauricio Macri briefly auditioned