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Former Argentine President Mauricio Macri is charged with illegal espionage

  • Macri is considered allegedly responsible for spying on the relatives of the victims of the ARA San Juan submarine that sank in southern waters on November 17, 2017.

Almost two years after leaving the Argentine presidency, the federal judge, Martín Bava decided impute Mauricio Macri for alleged acts of illegal espionage against relatives of the victims of the ARA San Juan submarine that sank in southern waters on November 17, 2017, with 38 crew members and six tactical divers on board. The magistrate ordered an embargo of some 850.000 euros and prohibited him from leaving the country.

In principle, the complaints of illegal espionage against those who demanded information from the Government about the fate of their drowned relatives were directed against the leadership of the Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI). However, the judge considered that Macri had a direct responsibility in those episodes. The former right-wing president considered that Bava’s decision was clear proof of his lack of impartiality in that case. The judicial investigation began in September 2020. Macri’s lawyer, Pablo Lanusse, has already demanded that the case change the court.

A month ago, the judge tried to question Macri. The former president’s lawyers filed a brief on his behalf. The imputation is known three weeks after Parliamentary election in which the conservative coalition of which it is part took two million votes ahead of Peronism, in power.

Proven facts

Bava considers it proven that the AFI delegation from the seaside resort of Mar del Plata, where the base of the wrecked submarine is located, dedicated itself to following, photograph and infiltrate to the loved ones of the ARA San Juan crew members, between December 2017 and the end of 2018. The spies reported to the Government the claims that the family members were proposing to make before the courts in a case with strong international repercussions.

For this cause, the former director general of the AFI, Gustavo Arribas, a personal friend of Macri, his right hand, Silvia Majdalani, among other officials of the state secretariat, have already been prosecuted.

Various judicial fronts

Macri has other judicial fronts. The former president and three of his ministers are charged in a case for alleged ammunition smuggling to Bolivia after the coup that overthrew Evo Morales in November 2019. These supplies were sent to the neighboring country in a military plane and were intended to support the de facto authorities.

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In turn, the Macri family has been indicted for attempting to prejudice and fraud against the State within the framework of the nationalization of the Argentine Mail that belonged to the business holding headed by his late father, Franco Macri. Another judge, Marcelo Martínez de Giorgi, is investigating at the same time whether a structure of companies linked to the Macri Group bought wind farms and sold them obtaining strong profits in the midst of an anomalous situation.

According to the former president, all open cases are acts of revenge by Peronism. Macri has expressed his will to return to govern as of December 2023. At the moment he is not the undisputed leader of his space. Other leaders also want to run for president, including the mayor of the city of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.

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