This Thursday, after 19 and after having faced 81 hearings, concluded the trial against Cristóbal López, Fabián De Sousa and Ricardo Echegaray for the alleged fraud against the State through Oil Combustibles SA.
The Federal Oral Court 3 (TOF 3) with the votes of Fernando Machado Pelloni and Javier Ríos, they decided acquit the entrepreneurs, while they coincided with Andrés Basso at the time of convict the former head of the AFIP. Now, it will be Chamber I of the Cassation Chamber that reviews the sentence, the same judges who must decide whether Cristina Kirchner will face two key trials or not.
The vote was unanimous at the time of sentencing Ricardo Echegaray to four years and eight months in prison for considering him “criminally responsible for the crime of fraudulent administration, aggravated by having been committed to the detriment of the public administration. “The accusation also earned him the perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
The members of the Court did not agree when evaluating the conduct and criminal responsibility of the owners of Oil Combustibles. While for Machado Pelloni and Javier Ríos, there were not enough elements to confirm the link with Echegaray and the collusion in the investigated maneuver, Judge Andrés Basso understood that there was no doubt about that relationship.
The prosecutor before TOF 3, Juan García Elorrio, and Judge Basso agreed on the accusation of the three involved in the investigation. All were participants in the investigated maneuver. He had already said it during his plea and it was in part the arguments on which the magistrate whose vote for the conviction of López and De Sousa was found in the minority found support.
The accusation maintains that Cristóbal López and Fabián De Sousa, in their capacity as main beneficiaries and shareholders of the Oil Combustibles company, irregularly agreed to two general plans and two private ones for the payment of the ITC tax (the fuel tax), using that money to grant credits to other companies of the economic group, what allowed them expand to the detriment of the treasury’s interests.
That machinery could not have been set in motion, the prosecutor considered in his accusation, if they did not act in a synchronized way with the former general administrator of the AFIP, Ricardo Echegaray, “who granted them – irregularly – general and special payment plans, without those taxpayers accrediting the only established legal requirement by applicable regulations (being in a financial situation that prevents them from complying with their tax obligations) “.
That evidentiary group remained in the minority and only Echegaray ended up accused in the case.
The appeal, in three months
March 17 The fundamentals of the three judges on the basis of which they made the decisions announced this Thursday will be known. When the parties have knowledge of the arguments, will be able to appeal -or not- the measure. Ricardo Echegaray’s lawyers will reject the accusation sentence.
It will be then when the sentence is elevated to the Criminal Cassation Chamber for your review. In the highest criminal court It will be Room I the person responsible for analyzing the conviction against Echegaray and the acquittal against the owners of the Indalo Group.
That same room composed of judges Daniel Petrone, Gustavo Barrotaveña and Ana María Figueroa, She is responsible for ruling on two other cases, one of which involves Cristóbal López and Fabián De Sousa.
Chamber I of the Cassation Chamber has to decide whether Cristina Kirchner and her children Máximo and Florencia Kirchner – like the other defendants – will face trial for money laundering, in the Hotesur and Los Sauces cases. They are two files that were investigated separately but when they were raised to the final instance of the debate they were unified in TOF 5.
Two of the members of that Court, Daniel Obligado and Adrián Grunberg were the ones who signed the dismissal of the vice president and the other defendants in these cases. In the investigation focused on real estate businesses (Los Sauces), the owners of the Indalo Group are prosecuted: they represented 65% of the company’s turnover, which the justice described as “a screen to simulate rentals”.
The decision on whether to make room for this dismissal or if the oral trial will be ordered, corresponds to Chamber I. The members of the same have another key resolution in your hands: They must analyze the dismissal issued in favor of Cristina Kircher and the other defendants, in the case for the signing of the Pact with Iran, the file that began with the complaint of the late prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
Along with these measures that will define in part the judicial future of the vice president, Chamber I will have the duty to review the sentence issued by TOF 3 that in the case of defrauding the State in more than $ 5,900 million for the fuel tax that Oil Combustibles did not pay tribute, decided to convict Echegaray and with a majority vote, acquitted López and De Sousa.