Monday, October 21, 2019
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ARGENTINA | 16-03-2019 11:24

Government seeks to remove Ramos Padilla from bench after testimony before Congress

At press time on Friday evening, the Justice Ministry announced it would open proceedings in the Magistrates Council to remove Dolores Federal Judge Alejo Ramos Padilla from the bench, following his explosive spy-ring accusations in his Wednesday Congress appearance.

A Justice Ministry official called that appearance “an evident case of malfeasance … violating his obligation to impartiality, prudence and decorum,” thus justifying his removal. But Council sources said that the government may have problems mustering the necessary votes.

Lawmakers from the ruling Cambiemos (Let’s Change) coalition boycotted Ramos Padilla’s appearance in Congress on Wednesday, alleging it was part of a conspiracy to derail an investigation into the alleged corruption committed by the former Kirchnerite administrations.

The federal judge for Dolores, in Buenos Aires province, appeared at Congress on the invitation of Freedom of Expression Committee chairman Leopoldo Moreau, a key congressional ally of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Wednesday’s meeting was public and open to legislators. In it, Ramos Padilla denounced a broad system of “illegal espionage” aimed at extorting business people.

Ramos Padilla’s investigation centres on a cache of evidence, some now publicly available, that suggests Federal Prosecutor Carlos Stornelli partook in an illicit espionage and extortion scheme using a frontman, Marcelo D’Alessio.

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