January 19, 2018
Friday, February 17, 2017

Milani questioned over Ledo disappearance

Former Army chief César Milani was questioned this week at the Tucumán Federal Appeals Court after the investigation of the forced disappearance of conscript Alberto Agapito Ledo in that province in 1976.

According to Milani’s lawyer, the former Army chief said that he didn’t know Ledo and denied any wrongdoing.

“Milani came to the court as he always did and gave an extensive explanation of the situation he experienced in those days. He confirmed what he said in a previous statement and left other document where he offers a great amount of evidence,” said Milani’s lawyer Gustavo Feldman.

Milani is being investigated in Tucumán for the forced disappearance of conscript Ledo.

Ledo was finishing compulsory military service in the La Rioja Engineers battalion when he was transferred along with Milani to Tucumán to cooperate with Operation Independence, ordered in 1975 by former president María Estela Martínez de Perón to annihilate the guerrilla groups that operated in that province.

The officer in charge of the group was Captain Esteban Sanguinetti, who was indicted in 2013 for Ledo’s forced disappearance. Before the judge, Sanguinetti identified Milani, who signed a document declaring Ledo a deserter, when in fact he had been forcibly disappeared.

But Milani’s lawyer said this week that he had “no link to this case.”

When asked about the document allegedly signed by Milani, he said that “the photocopy presented in the investigation isn’t a valid document while the signature is unrecognisable.”

Federal judge Fernando Poviña has now 10 days to decide on Milani’s situation.

Ledo’s family protested in front of the courthouse claiming that the judge should order Milani’s detention.

Meanwhile, in the last few hours a Cassation court rejected a nullification request presented by Milani in another investigation into alleged crimes against humanity and is closer to being questioned, according to Télam agency.

The court rejected Milani’s request on the investigation of the kidnapping of Pedro Adán Olivera and Ramón Alfredo Olivera in La Rioja, in March, 1977.

On June 23, 2015, Milani filed his resignation letter to the Army. The probes into human rights violations committed during the 1976-1983 dictatorship were not listed among his reasons to step down.

Milani has been indicted on embezzlement charges and slapped with a lien in a separate case.

The charges relate to findins by the court that dcumentation provided by the now-retired lieutenant-general could not explain his current wealth nor spending habits.

Investigators also found that the purchase of a 1150-square-metre home in the upscale neighbourhood of San Isidro in Buenos Aires province with 1.5 million pesos in cash had not been explained by the former head of the country’s Army.

Herald with Télam

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Edition No. 5055 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5343955 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA - Director Perdiodístico: Ricardo Daloia