“Gestapo”: Conte Grand appeared in Congress, but for Kirchnerism the explanations were “unconvincing”
The attorney general of the province of Buenos Aires, Julius Conte Grand, accused of endorsing the alleged maneuvers that were carried out in the so-called “judicial table” of Buenos Aires during the management of the former governor Maria Eugenia Vidal, appeared today to appear before the Bicameral Commission for Monitoring Intelligence Activities of Congress.
”I have come to answer, but I don’t know what questions they are going to ask me. When I’m done I’m going to make statements,” said Conte Grand upon entering the Senate Annex building after 12 o’clock where the Bicameral Intelligence meets. The Buenos Aires attorney decided not to attend last January 18, when he was supposed to appear for the first time, and offered to respond in writing to the queries of the legislators of the espionage subcommittee, which depends on the Bicameral. However, from this parliamentary group made up of the Kirchnerists Rodolfo Tailhade Y Eduardo Valdes Y Miguel Baze, from Together for Change, rejected that possibility.
The subcommission is carrying out an investigation based on the dissemination of a video in which a meeting held in June 2017 at the Buenos Aires headquarters of Banco Provincia is recorded, where officials of then-governor Vidal, intelligence agents and businessmen held a meeting in which they supposedly analyzed the formation of a judicial table to put together cases against union organizations. In that meeting, where the mayor of La Plata was also present, Julius Garro, the then Minister of Labor of the province of Buenos Aires, Marcelo Villegas, expressed to those present his desire to have “a Gestapo” -the political police of the Nazi regime- to persecute the unions, and also assured that the Prosecutor -in charge of Conte Grand- was aware of the maneuvers that should be orchestrated from that judicial table to build cases against the union leaders.
The deputies of the Frente de Todos Tailhade and Leopoldo Moreau anticipated that they would summon ex-minister Villegas, and described the declarations of attorney Conte Grand before the bicameral intelligence subcommittee of Congress as “not very convincing”. “Conte Grand’s words were unconvincing,” said Moreau, who said the prosecutor did not explain why he had an encrypted phone.
Lawmakers made statements after Conte Grand’s presentation, which tried to disassociate himself from the facts and promised to “prosecute” the prosecutors eventually involved in these maneuvers, but withdrew from the Senate annex without making a statement, despite the fact that it had been anticipated that he would speak with journalists.
Based on a series of testimonies, the members of the subcommittee investigate whether that meeting took place at the request of the Governorate headed by Vidal. Yesterday the ex-official of Banco Provincia (Bapro) declared before the subcommission Emily James, who admitted that at the request of the former head of that entity John Curuchet reserved the room for the meeting that was recorded and is part of the judicial complaint made by the Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI). Parliamentary sources explained that Jaime said that he dedicated himself, among other functions as Curuchet’s secretary, to “sending the emails to reserve the places for certain meetings, with which he confirmed the information that emerged from the emails where he requests the multipurpose room for three days in which that meeting was recorded.”
The spokespersons pointed out that the former official said that she was only “following orders from Curuchet” and that she was only in her duties at Banco Provincia with that official since she later retired from the institution. Jaime requested the meeting room as it appears in the emails that the subcommittee has and that were delivered by the current authorities of Banco Provincia.
On the other hand, the former manager of Institutional Resources Hernán Stella asked to postpone his statement until February due to “particular issues,” spokesmen told Télam. The summons to Stella aims to explain why there is no record of the entry of those who participated in the meeting of the so-called “Bonaerense judicial table”, although sources linked to the case said that this room did not depend on the former official but on another area of Bapro.
Last week, the subcommittee already made an ocular visit to the Buenos Aires headquarters of Bapro located in Miter and San Martín, in the downtown area. In this framework, the members of the body met with the former head of security of the building, Mariano Albito, who assured the legislators that historically “there were never cameras” in the place.