The Federal Chamber of Criminal Cassation accepted the complaint appeal of the Olivera family against the acquittal of the former head of the Army of Cristina Kirchner, General (RE) César Milani, in the cause of the illegal repression in La Rioja, informed the delegation of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo in La Rioja.
In a statement, the entity chaired by the mother of the disappeared soldier Alberto Ledo, Marcela Brizuela Ledo, reported that the highest criminal court agreed to review the acquittal for the accusation of “Violation of the guarantee of an impartial judge.”
The appeal was filed by the Olivera family’s attorneys, Adriana Mercado Luna, María and Viviana Reinoso, and the Olivera family.
In the acceptance, Cassation said that “some of the grievances introduced in the casatoria appeal and dismissed by the federal oral court of La Rioja, made up of judges Julián Falcucci and Jaime Diaz Gavier- they seek the nullity of the debate and consequently of the acquittal “.” It imposes your analysis at the time of entering the comprehensive study of that sentencing instrument due to its definitive nature ”, the judges Alejandro Slokar, Carlos Mahiques and Guillermo Yacobucci indicated in the resolution.
Milani’s acquittal was then celebrated by the head of the Plaza de Mayo Mothers, Hebe de Bonafini, who thus distanced herself from her Riojan affiliate.
In the statement, the Mothers of La Rioja They expressed their hope that the same would happen with the acquittal of Milani in the Ledo case.
In August 2019, Milani was acquitted of all crimes in the trial against humanity that followed him in La Rioja for the kidnapping and torture suffered by Pedro Olivera and his son, Ramón, during the last military dictatorship.
In addition, the Federal Oral Court of La Rioja ordered the immediate release of the retired general who was in command of the Army during the second presidency of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Milani, who as a lieutenant was stationed in La Rioja, was accused of the crimes of unlawful deprivation of liberty, application of torture and illicit association and the representatives of the complaints and the Prosecutor’s Office had requested between 20 and 18 years for the uniformed.
On the other hand, the Federal Oral Court (TOF) of Tucumán acquitted Milani in November 2019 in the trial for the disappearance of soldier Alberto Ledo, but sentenced the other defendant, his former boss, former captain Esteban Sanguinetti, to 14 years in prison that he must serve at home since he is 77 years old.
Judges Gabriel Casas, Carlos Jiménez Montilla and Enrique Lilljedahl, who are members of the TOF of Tucumán, decided the sentences.
The former head of the Army of Cristina’s government came to this trial accused of falsifying a record on the alleged “desertion” and for covering up the disappearance of Ledo, a crime for which the complaints and the prosecution had requested a sentence of 6 years in prison .
The same penalty had been requested by the complaint representing the Secretary of Human Rights of the Nation and the prosecutors in the case, Pablo Camuña and Agustín Chit.
During the allegations, the attorneys for the plaintiff Viviana Reynoso and Adriana Mercado Luna indicated that Milani was in charge of “prepare the desertion certificate” of Ledo “whose content it’s false“, and having signed it by order of Sanguinetti, who was his superior.
In addition, “with false statements Milani tried to cover up Sanguinetti,” they added.
Meanwhile, former captain Sanguinetti was sentenced to 14 years of house arrest for being responsible for the crimes of the unlawful deprivation of liberty and the aggravated homicide of Ledo.
Sanguinetti was in charge of the 141st Construction Engineers Battalion of La Rioja, where the conscript reviewed, while Milani was second lieutenant of that body.
“Through the statements of the witnesses who have gone through this debate, it has been shown that on June 17, 1976, Ledo was taken from the Monteros camp by Sanguinetti at 1 in the morning and did not return again,” the plaintiffs alleged. .
The lawyers reported that “when Ledo’s mother, Marcela Brizuela, went to visit him at the camp on July 4 for his birthday, they told her that her son had deserted.”
“Sanguinetti displayed homicidal conduct from the unlawful deprivation of liberty of Ledo, who was transferred to Arsenales (a clandestine detention center where he was seen by two witnesses for the last time) and finally killed,” they argued, and for that reason they had requested the sentence of life imprisonment for the former military man.
Ledo was born in La Rioja, he was a History student and a member of the Workers’ Revolutionary Party (PRT). At the age of 20, the young man joined Battalion 141 in La Rioja as a soldier and then – within the framework of Operation Independence against the guerrillas – was transferred to a camp in the city of Monteros, in Tucumán, where he was seen for the last time the June 17, 1976.
The soldier had been assigned to carry out civil tasks, such as repair and construction of roads and highways.