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November 22, 2014
Saturday, July 19, 2014

Campagnoli goes back to office on Monday

Prosecutor José María Campagnoli (centre) heads a press conference along with his lawyers Ignacio Irigaray (left) and Ricardo Gil Lavedra (right).
By Luciana Bertoia
Herald Staff
Prosecutor criticizes impeachment court’s decision to bring him to trial again

Prosecutor José María Campagnoli yesterday announced that on Monday he will return to his office in the City neighbourhood of Saavedra, a day after the impeachment tribunal that was judging him for alleged malfeasance decided to reinstate him as prosecutor.

In a press conference held at his lawyer Ricardo Gil Lavedra’s legal firm, Campagnoli faced the cameras to celebrate the court’s decision to put an end to the suspension that kept him out of his office since December 12 when Attorney General Alejandra Gils Carbó and a group of prosecutors agreed to stand before an impeachment court to decide if he had to be removed.

“I am glad. I am coming back to Saavedra on Monday,” Campagnoli said after thanking the support received from citizens but also from NGOs, specifically highlighting the Magistrates Association. The group that gathers together prosecutors and judges was in the middle of the controversy as one of the jurors who had to decide Campagnoli’s fate is a member of the Magistrates Association, which last year opposed the prosecutor’s suspension.

“I’ll arrive there to see what I find,” Campagnoli added. Since February, Prosecutor Cristina Caamaño has been replacing him at the Saavedra’s unit and she has been in the middle of a controversy with Campagnoli’s loyal employees, who reportedly did not follow her instructions and repeatedly left the office to take part in rallies to support Campagnoli.

Sources told the Herald that Campagnoli will not be meeting Caamaño on Monday as she is away on holiday. The next dispute between Campagnoli and the office headed by Gils Carbó will be based on whether his loyal employees are going to be reinstated in the Saavedra unit as Caamaño decided to send them to other offices.

“I want them back as I have many cases to solve,” Campagnoli said. Yesterday morning, Campagnoli went to the Attorney General’s headquarters to discuss that issue but he did not meet with Gils Carbó, who is also on holidays. There he met Eduardo Casal, the Attorney General before the Supreme Court. Campagnoli filed several requests regarding his employees, which will have to be analyzed by Gils Carbó as soon as she comes back from holidays on July 28, sources from her office told the Herald.

Upcoming trial

As the proceeding that was in progress floundered due to Public Defender María Cristina Martínez Córdoba’s resignation, a new trial will start. On August 5, a preliminary hearing will define when.

Campagnoli’s lawyers, Gil Lavedra and Ignacio Irigaray, oppose a new trial against the prosecutor and consider that Campagnoli has already been tried and that the court was responsible for not issuing a verdict.

Prosecutors Adolfo Villate and Marcelo García Berro, on the other hand, insist that Campagnoli has to be impeached for malfeasance and for interfering with a colleague’s investigation. Villate and García Berro will be meeting on Monday to decide their next steps in the case, the same day when Campagnoli will be going back to work.

In spite of several discussions that divided the seven members of the impeachment tribunal, all of them agree that Campagnoli’s case has to be tried in court. They will have until October to hold a trial and to issue a verdict. Campagnoli won a battle, as he yesterday said, and will be waiting for their decision, in the prosecutor’s office he heads.

@lucianabertoia
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