The Federal Oral Court 5 Buenos Aires acquitted on Thursday the former president of the National Securities Commission Juan Alfredo Etchebarne and sentenced to 10 years in prison former civil intelligence agent Antonio Raúl Guglielminetti, both accused in the legal case for the illegitimate deprivation of liberty of 28 industrial entrepreneurs linked to the economic groups Chavanne (Bank of Hurlingham) and Grassi (Grassi Iron and Steel Industry).
Guglielminetti was sentenced to 10 years in prisonwhen the requests for punishment were between 12 and 25 years in prisonfor the kidnapping of nine of the 28 people linked to the Chavanne and Grassi economic groups, which took place between September and October 1978, during the last civic-military dictatorship.
Etchebarne, who remained free throughout the judicial process, was acquitted on Thursday by a majority vote after being charged as a necessary accomplice to the unlawful deprivation of liberty of 23 people in the case.
Both defendants had chosen not to make use of the right to pronounce their last words before the verdict, at the beginning of the hearing that they carried out the judges Adrián Grünberg, Daniel Obligado and Adriana Palliotti.
The victims were detained in the clandestine detention center (CCD) that operated in the Campo de Mayo military prison and, among the complainants, are the Secretariat of Human Rightsby Horacio Pietragalla Corti, and the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights (APDH).
“This trial is very particular in terms of crimes against humanity because the crimes committed in order to distribute as spoils of war both the Bank of Hurlingham and the Grass Steel Industry are being triedi”, Eduardo Taviani told Télam from the APDH.
The APDH referent added that all this “proved”and that is why they hoped that “the only two survivors who are charged will be convicted.”
Meanwhile, he added that the rest of the soldiers, who did not come to trial, enjoyed “biological impunity”referring to his death, therefore it is “very important that there be a sentence for those who intervened and are still alive”.
“This cause proved that high-ranking officials of the civic-military dictatorship were involved in the appropriation of these two assets. Behind this was this operation that compromised part of the team of (José Alfredo) Martínez de Hoz, and where it was used as manpower to the army and to the intelligence services,” he said.
The only defendants who arrived alive are Etchebarne and Guglielminetti, who were investigated by federal judge Daniel Rafecas during the investigation stage and later took the case to trial.
“This trial is very particular in terms of crimes against humanity because the crimes committed in order to distribute both the Bank of Hurlingham and the Grassi Iron and Steel Industry as war booty are being judged” Eduardo Taviani, from the APDH
Taviani remarked that “these assets do not exist today because they were dismantled, although the steel industry continues in a small part in the hands of the family.”
He also stressed that “there are no disappeared today in this case” since the kidnapped were later released “and in what constituted a farce, a legal case was put together that was annulled by the Justice between 1983 and 1984.”
“In this proceeding They kidnapped not only the businessmen but also the hierarchical personnel of the companies, part of the board of directors, legal advisers and accountants.“recalled the APDH referent.
“There was research very interesting that was carried out when the CNV was chaired by Alejandro Vanoliwhich showed how this State agency was used in the case to facilitate the expropriation of property,” he added and recalled: “Some expressed the clear intention of (José Alfredo) Martínez de Hoz to stay with the Bank of Hurlingham“.
Chavanne – Grassi case: the Federal Oral Court 5 today acquitted by majority the former head of the National Securities Commission during the dictatorship, Juan Alfredo Etchebarne, and sentenced the former civilian Intelligence agent, Raúl Guglielminetti, to 10 years in prison for 9 kidnappings. pic.twitter.com/i7G84sbdHf
— Human Rights Secretariat (@SDHArgentina) April 7, 2022