January 17, 2018
Thursday, August 21, 2014

BA judge willing to hand over Carlotto case

Judge María Romilda Servini de Cubría.
Judge María Romilda Servini de Cubría.
Judge María Romilda Servini de Cubría.
By Luciana Bertoia
Herald Staff
Servini de Cubría says La Plata court could take control if it falls within its jurisdiction

Federal Judge María Romilda Servini de Cubría would be willing to hand the investigation into the appropriation of Estela Barnes de Carlotto’s grandson over to Federal Judge Manuel Blanco, who has to decide if the case falls within his jurisdiction of La Plata.

Days after the name of the medical doctor who appears on Ignacio Guido’s birth certificate came to light, Servini de Cubría banned Julio Sacher from leaving the country, as per the request of Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo.

Before moving forward with the case, the judge sought advice from Grandmothers and prosecutor Carlos Stornelli about what her next step should be. There has been a persistent rumour that Servini de Cubría was getting ready to summon Clemente Hurban, the man who raised Laura Carlotto’s baby in the city of Olavarría in Buenos Aires province.

Though Sacher did not sign the certificate, Hurban did — which is why it is thought he could provide details of how the baby ended up in Olavarría. According to the certificate, Ignacio was born on June 2, 1978 on 2858 Alsina street in Olavarría, where Carlos Francisco “Pancho” Aguilar lived.

Aguilar is frequently mentioned as the man who gave the baby to Clemente and Juana Hurban, who worked as farmhands for him. Aguilar passed away on March 26 and it was reportedly his death that prompted the 36-year-old man’s search to discover his real identity.

The Herald contacted Stornelli to ask him what actions he believes the judge should take but he declined to comment. Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo lawyer Alan Iud said that the organization headed by Barnes de Carlotto has not been formally notified yet of the judge’s resolution.

“Last week, we requested the judge order a raid at Sacher’s clinic in Olavarría but she has not done it so far and the medical doctor’s name was leaked to the press,” Iud complained.

The doctor

On Tuesday, doctor Julio Sacher’s lawyer appeared before Servini de Cubría to make his client available. But the investigation faces one major hurdle: despite Sacher’s name appearing on the certificate, his signature does not. Servini de Cubría requested the Olavarría Civil Registry to send another certificate but their response was that the documents disappeared during a flood in 1980.

Sacher is 78-years-old and a well-known obstetrician and gynecologist in Olavarría. He enrolled in the Buenos Aires provincial police in 1966. Sources from human rights groups in Olavarría told the Herald that they could not provide a detailed profile of Sacher. Prosecutors investigating crimes against humanity committed in Olavarría told the Herald that he was not facing any charges for offences perpetrated in the 1970s.

A matter of jurisdiction

Last week, prosecutors Hernán Schapiro and Marcelo Molina requested Federal Judge Blanco to investigate the case in La Plata, where the clandestine detention centre known as La Cacha was located. It was there Laura Carlotto was held between December 1977 and August 1978, when she was executed by repressors. So far Blanco has not issued any decision, though is expected to do so in the coming hours.

“I haven’t received a request,” Servini de Cubría told the Herald. “I wouldn’t oppose sending the case to La Plata. I have done that in the past but it will take a long time because the prosecutor will also have to issue his opinion.”

If any of the parties involved in the case are opposed, it would have to be taken to the Criminal Appeals Court, which would then decide if the case is within Servini’s or Blanco’s jurisdiction.

Laura was abducted in November 1977, and first taken to the infamous Navy Mechanics School (ESMA) before being transferred to La Cacha. On June 26, she was taken somewhere else to give birth to her baby boy, whom she named Guido. When she was taken back to La Cacha, she told her comrades that she thought she had been in the Central Military Hospital in BA City, which is why Servini de Cubría has jurisdiction over the case. But some believe she could have been taken to the Olmos Penitentiary hospital — located next to La Cacha — or to La Plata’s Infantry Regiment Number 7, which had a medical facility. If the baby was born there, the case should be investigated in the capital city of Buenos Aires province.

Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo wants the case to be investigated in La Plata and is assessing whether to file a formal request.

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