December 18, 2017

Controversial magistrate to face disciplinary review

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Oyarbide out of medicines case

High-profile Federal Judge Norberto Oyarbide was yesterday removed from the so-called “medicines mafia” case for having acquitted, during a part of the trial that corresponded to another judge, former Kirchnerite officials allegedly involved in money-laundering, judicial sources reported.

The second court of the Criminal Appeals Court not only reproached Oyarbide for having not sent the case to another well-known judge, Ariel Lijo — as per an earlier ruling from the Appellate Court that he do so — it also reported the controversial judge to the Magistrates Council for possible disciplinary action relating to his conduct in the case.

The decision by judges Martín Irurzún, Horacio Cattani and Eduardo Farah means Oyarbide’s ruling in March last year in favour of former officials accused of “laundering” becomes null and void.

Since Judge Lijo — who indicted Vice-President Amado Boudou in July on bribery charges — technically never ceded control over the case to Oyarbide, it will now return to the status it had prior to the latter’s decision to discontinue the legal investigation against former Health Services Superintendency head Héctor Cappacioli; former National Lottery head Hernán Diez; former ruling Victory Front (FpV) City legislator Sebastián Gramajo; and former pharmaceutical wholesaler Gabriel Brito.

They are accused of money-laundering and of illegally selling medicines in an investigation that alleges the funds were channelled into the FpV’s 2007 election campaign. The Federal Court handed Lijo the case in 2012 during a conflict of jurisdiction between the two judges.

In yesterday’s ruling, the court claimed Oyarbide’s ruling was “nonexistent and ineffective” and gave it the status of “partial annulment.” The “described situation,” it read, was also sent to the Disciplinary Committee of the Magistrates Council for review.

‘Medicines mafia’

Of the accused, Cappacioli is also facing a public trial along with other defendants including former banking sector union leader Juan José Zanola for alleged racketeering, tampering with medicines, fraud, fraud against the public administration and marketing products with a counterfeit trademark.

— Herald with DyN, Télam

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