December 20, 2014
Legal Secretariat’s No 2 denies resignation
Carlos Liuzzi, involved in a scandal, alleges persecution by Clarín
The Presidency’s Legal and Technical Under-Secretary Carlos Liuzzi — involved in a scandal after Federal Judge Norberto Oyarbide stopped a raid of the Propyme financial firm at his request — denied he had quit, after media reports said yesterday that he had submitted his resignation to President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
“At no time did I submit my resignation to the post I hold since 2003,” said Liuzzi in a statement.
He is the second top official at the Legal and Technical Secretariat headed by Carlos ‘Chino’ Zannini, one of the closest advisers to the president.
Liuzzi added: “As it is of public knowledge some time ago, the Clarín Group has launched a persecution campaign against me, without any other evidence but rumours and leaks, with the aim to harm the Legal and Technical secretary and, particularly, damage the image of the president.”
Liuzzi decried “the repeated and diverse media versions over the past days over (my) alleged irregularities as a government official... All the affidavits presented before the Anti-Corruption Office have been duly assessed without having deserved any objection, and have been sent to the court that handled case number 9682/12 of 2012 in which I have been acquitted.”
La Nación newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, also said that Liuzzi had quit.
Fernández de Kirchner has for years accused Clarín and La Nación of seeking to destabilize her administration and at her behest Congress earlier this year passed a law to break down the Clarín Group that she calls “the discouragement and fear (news) chain.”
Liuzzi’s statement was published by the state-run news agency Télam.
He and his wife travelled to the Uruguayan resort of Punta del Este for the Easter holidays while the president was at her hometown of Río Gallegos — in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz — that she shared with her late husband and predecessor Néstor Kirchner, who ruled Argentina between 2003 and 2007. Fernández de Kirchner was elected in 2007 and reelected in 2011. Presidential elections are due next year. Under the Constitution the president cannot seek a third straight term.
The scandal involving Liuzzi blew up a month after Oyarbide said in a written testimony that he had ordered the interruption of the raid at his request.
According to Clarín, Liuzzi said that he had acted “well” when he called Oyarbide to tell him that police officers were demanding bribes from his friend Guillermo Greppi, the owner of the financial firm Propyme. “I reported the case before the judge handling it. What else could I do?”, Clarín quoted him as saying.
Judge Luis Rodríguez has opened a probe into possible cover-up.
Additionally, the Federal Appeals Court last week reopened a probe against Liuzzi for alleged illegal enrichment. The case had been started by anti-corruption champion Ricardo Monner Sans and had been shelved by Oyarbide.