Another blow for Kirchnerism. The Supreme Court today dismissed an appeal by former Federal Planning Minister Julio de Vido, through which he questioned the constitutionality of the so-called repentant law in the case popularly known as “Cuadernos de las coimas.”
This is Law 27,304, which was enacted on October 19, 2016. This established the figure of the “awarded informer” or “accused collaborator” (“repentant”) with a broader scope than it had until then in other provisions. .
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In practice, the legislation implies that if a participant in an illicit act declares as repentant, he or she would obtain a reduction in the custodial sentence in exchange for information relevant to the clarification or advancement of the investigation.
De Vido raised the unconstitutionality of the figure of the repentant regarding the case in which he is investigated for his alleged participation in a criminal organization made up of public officials and public works contractors.
They order the release of Julio De Vido
The organization would be dedicated to collecting funds of supposedly illicit origin that came, among others, from overpricing of public works.
In 2022, the former minister was sentenced to four years in prison for the crime of fraud against the administration for a purchase of trains that began in 2005 from Spain and Portugal. Under the same investigation, former Transportation Secretary Ricardo Jaime received an eight-year sentence.
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Regarding the proposal of unconstitutionality of the figure of the repentant, De Vido invoked the impact of the principles of equality before the law, prohibition of forced self-incrimination, non-retroactivity of the criminal law, right of defense in court, due criminal process, double instance and right to recourse, arbitrariness and institutional gravity.
In line with Chamber I of the Federal Chamber of Criminal Cassation, the Supreme Court dismissed the extraordinary appeal with the signature of ministers Horacio Rosatti, Carlos Rosenkrantz, Juan Carlos Maqueda and Ricardo Lorenzetti.
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Article 41 ter of the Penal Code highlights that to obtain the benefits of “repentance”, it will be necessary that “the data or information provided contributes to avoiding or impeding the beginning, permanence or consummation of a crime; clarify the fact under investigation or other related events; reveal the identity or whereabouts of authors, co-authors, instigators or participants in these investigated events or other related events.”
In this regard, it must also “provide sufficient data that allows significant progress in the investigation or the whereabouts of victims deprived of their liberty; find out the destination of the instruments, goods, effects, products or profits of the crime; or indicate the sources of financing of criminal organizations involved in the commission of the crimes provided for in this article.”