Posted on: December 16, 2022, 08:33h.
Final up to date on: December 16, 2022, 10:18h.
The Supreme Courtroom of Justice of the Argentine province of Buenos Aires has set the document straight after 15 years. Gustavo Menéndez, a former on line casino regulator and present mayor of the town of Merlo, might be given a clear document in relation to a theft from a on line casino when he was Provincial Director of Casinos in 2007.
Gustavo Menéndez at his desk as mayor of the Argentine metropolis of Merlo. The previous on line casino regulator and authorities official has been cleared of wrongdoing in a 15-year-old case. (Picture: Perfil)
The ruling reverses the two-and-a-half yr jail sentence and perpetual disqualification from holding public workplace that Menéndez acquired. It additionally cleared Enrique De Luca, the then-administrator of the On line casino Central and On line casino Del Mar.
The 2 have been focused and despatched to trial over the disappearance of ARS600,000 (US$3,480) from On line casino Central in Mar del Plata. They at all times asserted their innocence, alleging the accusation was a political conspiracy.
That trial happened in December 2018. After the decision, Menéndez, who was president of the Justicialist Celebration on the time, accused former Buenos Aires Governor María Eugenia Vidal of utilizing her energy to direct the trial.
In Could of final yr, the Prison Chamber of the town of Bahía Blanca ratified the sentence of the court docket of Mar del Plata. Even earlier than that affirmation, Menéndez and his protection attorneys offered an enchantment for annulment.
The Supreme Courtroom, in a 31-page temporary, granted Menéndez’s request to annul the decision and strike the entry from his document. It decided that there was no proof to help the unique court docket determination or the claims towards Menéndez.
Whereas a lot of the court docket justices agreed to the annulment, no less than one rejected it. Nonetheless, having the bulk in favor of the enchantment was sufficient to vindicate Menéndez.
A lot has modified within the 10 years it took for the case to go to trial. Vidal confronted accusations of manipulating the judicial course of.
The case started earlier than Vidal, when Felipe Solá was nonetheless governor. Following him was Daniel Scioli, then Vidal. All tried to sway the trial primarily based on their very own pursuits, absent investigatory proof.
Throughout that point, Menéndez, who at one time aspired to develop into Argentina’s president, handed by means of the Institute of Lottery and Casinos of the province of Buenos Aires (IPLyC, for its Spanish acronym). He continued together with his profession in politics and have become mayor of Merlo in 2015, adopted by reelection in 2019.
Cash Goes Lacking
On Nov. 8, 2007, an audit happened at On line casino Central and On line casino del Mar, which have been underneath the auspices of Menéndez and De Luca on the time.
Because the story unfolded on the time, the cash was taken out of the corporate’s treasury in money and positioned in a backpack. It was transferred to On line casino Central in order that it may allegedly be checked by the IPLyC’s audit workers. Nonetheless, that was only a ruse to get the cash out of the account.
Confronted with the evident lack of cash that will inevitably be verified by the workers of the IPLyC, whoever was behind the maneuver wanted to discover a answer. So, cash was taken from the On line casino del Mar and put again into the account.
As a result of the funds allegedly handed by means of the IPLyC, the motion was categorised as an unlawful seizure of public funds. This led to the fees towards Menéndez and De Luca.
There was no bodily proof linking the 2 to the crimes, solely rumour. Witness statements on the time mentioned that Menéndez, on a number of events, ordered the treasury to offer him with cash. It was for bills that he would later justify by means of receipts.
These receipts by no means appeared. The identical is true of any paper path that might have verified the function he performed. As a result of a few of the witnesses have been former staff and an absence of tangible proof, the Supreme Courtroom needed to wipe the slate clear.