The prosecutors from the trial into the killing of 18-year-old Fernando Báez Sosa in Villa Gesell three years ago said “justice was done” as they reacted to the court’s verdict, yet indicated they will challenge the decision to convict three of the accused as only “secondary participants” in the attack.
Judges at Oral Criminal Court N°1 of Dolores on Monday sentenced five of the eight defendants in the trial to life imprisonment for their role in the attack, but handed only 15-year jail terms to Ayrton Viollaz, Lucas Pertossi and Blas Cinalli. The verdict essentially means that the role played by the aforementioned trio in the attack was not “necessary” in order for the homicide to have taken place.
"It is a very harsh sentence, I think justice was done. Justice is what the judges say it is," said Dolores Attorney General Diego Escoda, who however said that the prosecution is not satisfied with the lesser sentences handed down.
"The prosecutors are going to examine the ruling and [the judges’] arguments and surely if there is any discrepancy, they will appeal," he said, referring to the convictions of Viollaz, Pertossi and Cinalli.
"Surely there will be an appeal, this is very common,” he added.
"We have to highlight the excellent work of the court but there are discrepancies in the resolution," said Escoda.
"We asked for life imprisonment for all of them because we consider that they are all guilty, we have seven days to appeal to [the] Cassation [court]," said trial prosecutor Gustavo García.
"We do not agree with the secondary participation [decision]," he added.
Agreeing with the prosecutors, the lawyer representing the victim's parents, Fernando Burlando, agreed with the prosecution and said that "the three defendants who have benefitted are now our target" in the appeals court, referring to the convictions of Pertossi, Viollaz and Cinalli.
"The only thing we saw during 15 days of debate was a child asking for clemency," he declared, while insisting that he would have to read the sentence because he "doesn't understand it.”
Both the prosecution and Burlando said they would appeal the ruling and seek life imprisonment for all eight of the accused.
Máximo Thomsen, Ciro Pertossi, Enzo Comelli, Matías Benicelli and Luciano Pertossi were the other defendants who were convicted following the trial. They were all held directly responsible for the killing of Báez Sosa, which occurred on January 18, 2020, outside the Le Brique nightclub in Villa Gesell. All five were sentenced to life behind bars.