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July 29, 2014

In Bahía Blanca

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Prosecutors call for arrest of La Nueva Provincia’s Massot

By Luciana Bertoia
Herald Staff
Prosecutors yesterday requested the Federal Criminal Appeals Court arrest daily La Nueva provincia owner Vicente Gonzalo Massot, who will have to take the stand in court tomorrow to answer question about his alleged involvement in the murder of two printshop workers in 1976 and for covering up the repression unleashed by the country’s last military dictatorship.

Prosecutor Miguel Palazzani yesterday told the Herald that Massot’s detention could be imminent as he and his colleague José Nebbia said that the media owner might flee before his court date. While Massot’s situation is being examined in court, organizations and groups he belongs to chose to remain silent.

The International Council for Foreign Relations (CARI in Spanish), an organization in which Massot takes part, yesterday told this newspaper that it was not planning to issue any kind of public statement of support. The Argentine Catholic University (UCA), where Massot is a political science professor, also chose silence.

Prosecutors’ request

On April 4, Judge Coleffi summoned Massot to appear tomorrow in court for questioning over the charges raised by prosecutors. Even though Coleffi banned Massot from leaving the country, the judge did not agree to order the businessman’s arrest.

Palazzani and Nebbia appealed that decision and yesterday justified their request before judges Pablo Candisano Mera and Ricardo Planes.

“We requested his detention because his presence before Judge Coleffi has to guaranteed,” Palazzani told the Herald yesterday.

Massot’s lawyer, Rubén Diskin, also partook in the hearing and said that the owner of daily La Nueva Provincia had made it clear that he would appear in court as many times as necessary.

Support

Over the past few days, some organizations expressed their support for Massot. The first was the Association of Argentine Press Entities (ADEPA), which was later joined by an organization that vows its support to the so-called “Conquest of the Desert,” a military campaigned carried out in the late 1870 that involved massacring the indigenous population.

The Herald also talked to La Nueva Provincia’s news editor Fernando Monacelli, who said that the newspaper will cover the story like any other. Asked by this newspaper how the daily had covered Enrique Heinrich and Miguel Ángel Loyola abductions and murders, Monacelli said he could not give any explanation as he started working there in 1991.

“This is part of what the government has done to a free press,” Monacelli said, who also explained that the staff was not affected by the raid carried out by the prosecutors. “This happened to Clarín, La Nación.”

In 2010, the Kirchnerite administration sponsored an investigation to determine how the country’s most important newsprint manufacturer was transferred to dailies Clarín, La Nación and La Razón during the darkest years of the dictatorship.

@lucianabertoia

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