A report determined that the maintenance required for its proper functioning had not been performed.
A federal appeals court in Argentina ordered on Thursday to investigate former President Mauricio Macri and his former Defense Minister, Oscar Aguad, to determine if they were responsible for the sinking of the ARA San Juan submarine with 44 crew members on board in November 2017 while conducting an exercise. in the South Atlantic.
The Federal Court of Appeals of Comodoro Rivadavia, to which AP had access, that “the knowledge on the part of the Ministry of Defense and the head of the Executive Power on the conduct of the naval exercise must be investigated and proven in the file. certificates that give an account of the budget cuts that affected the armed forces and in particular the ships that participated in it ”.
The TR-1700 class diesel electric submarine of German manufacture and in operation since the 1980s disappeared on November 15, 2017 when it was sailing from Ushuaia, in the extreme south of Argentina, to its base in Mar del Plata, 400 kilometers south of Buenos Aires, after participating in a training exercise.
The US company Ocean Infinity, hired by the Argentine government, found the submarine a year after its disappearance at a depth of 907 meters and 600 kilometers east of the Argentine port of Comodoro Rivadavia, near the area where it was last contacted. There were no survivors.
A judicial investigation determined that the submarine did not comply with the scheduled maintenance plans and that it had defects that compromised the safety of navigation and that these were known to the people who had command power over the boat.
The judge in charge of the investigation, Marta Yáñez, pointed out Rear Admiral (RE) Luis Enrique López Mazzeo, who served as commander of naval training and enlistment, as the main person responsible for the sinking.
But the magistrate refused to investigate Macri, president between 2015 and 2019, his defense minister and the then Chief of the Navy, Marcelo Srur.
This measure was appealed by the relatives of the victims before a federal court that this Thursday gave them reason.
“It has not been investigated about the ministerial authorizations, budgetary allocations, if an adjustment policy has been mediated and what impact they could have on the quality, frequency and efficiency of maintenance tasks, starting with the” half-life “repair as relevant for the state of readiness that the submarine presented ”in November 2017, the court considered.
“These reasons prevent – at least at this stage of the process – definitively ruling out that the National Executive through the Ministry of Defense and through its respective State Secretariats, did not have any participation in the facts under investigation,” he added.
None of those involved spoke out on the court ruling.
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