Tuesday
September 2, 2014

Prosecutor who took over his office will present a brief to attorney general Gils Carbó this week

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

‘Campagnoli did not handle as many cases as he claims’

By Luciana Bertoia
Herald Staff
Attorney General Alejandra Gils Carbó will receive a brief this week detailing the state of suspended prosecutor José María Campagnoli’s office when his colleague Cristina Caamaño took over.

Over the past few weeks, Campagnoli has repeatedly said he was suspended because he wanted to investigate how business leaders linked to the government operated. However, sources told the Herald that he was not carrying out as many investigations as he had claimed and that there were other cases in which he was interfering in the jurisdictions of other prosecutors.

Campagnoli will face an impeachment tribunal on June 9 under charges of malfeasance and of interfering with a federal prosecutor’s investigation on alleged money laundering linking Kirchnerite businessman Lázaro Báez.

Since Caamaño — a prosecutor known for investigating the murder of leftist activist Mariano Ferreyra’s and key to sending Unión Ferroviaria railway workers’ union leader José Pedraza to prison for that crime and also a former official at the Security Ministry — was appointed, a pitched battle between her and Campagnoli’s loyal employees began.

It was even reported that Campagnoli locked his office to prevent Caamaño from entering and having access to information. The scandal led to the presence of a public notary and Campagnoli’s lawyer finally turning up to the office with the missing key.

The mood in the office has been far from calm. Workers only stay in their posts until 1.30 pm and then leave, a sharp contrast from when Campagnoli led the office and they even worked the weekends. Most of them have signs at their desks that read “Todos somos Campagnoli” (We are all Campagnoli) and some even have photographs of the suspended prosecutor as their screensaver.

However, that is not what Gils Carbó will read this week. When Campagnoli was suspended, he said he had 3,900 cases under examination. Sources told the Herald that the true number is less than 10 percent of that: 387.

A prosecutor’s office with that amount of cases normally work with nine employees but Campagnoli had around 18, the same source told this newspaper. Most of the files that have stacked up in Campagnoli’s office are related to serious crimes. But there are around 30 investigations which have not made much progress.

“Campagnoli first ordered to arrest a person and then he investigated,” the source told the Herald, making it clear that the suspended prosecutor always liked fireworks.

For instance, over the pat few days, a case was sent back to the Saavedra- Núñez prosecutor’s office because the prosecutor — in the middle of a trial — realized that the man charged could not be the man a woman was pointing to as a robber.

Campagnoli also took on a case that was beyond his jurisdiction regarding the sale of Aerolíneas Argentinas. He had a complaint for mismanagement that had to be sent to a federal prosecutor to reignite the investigation.

In the neigbourhood known as Barrio Mitre in Saavedra, residents fear Campagnoli. In fact, Kirchnerite legislator Leonardo Grosso filed a complaint against Campagnoli for institutional violence but the suspended prosecutor dismissed those charges as insignificant in conversation with the Herald.

Sources close to Gils Carbó are certain that Campagnoli was himself mismanaging his office but they are also quite sure he is winning the battle to show himself as a “martyr” and that media are doing their best to help him. The impeachment tribunal will have to prove otherwise.

@lucianabertoia

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