Three days before the 45th anniversary of the kidnappings of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo and of the French nuns in the Church of the Holy Cross, the person responsible for those falls, the Argentine soldier Alfredo Astiz, asked to be released. The decision is now in the hands of the Federal Oral Court (TOF) 5 of the City of Buenos Aires, which has already tried and sentenced him twice.
This Monday, the official defense of Astiz requested the release of the repressor who acted in the School of Mechanics of the Navy (ESMA). According to a calculation made by his defenders, Astiz has been detained for more than 20 years, which supposedly would allow him to access the benefit of probation for having served two thirds of the sentence.
Astiz, the best-known face of the repressors of the Navy, has two life sentences handed down since the reopening of the proceedings for crimes against humanity: one – handed down in 2011 – was already confirmed by the Federal Chamber of Criminal Cassation and the other. The second – issued in November 2017 – is still under review in that high court.
The prosecutor Leonardo Philippini He has already asked the TOF5 judges to reject the request of Astiz’s defense. According to the prosecution, the defense’s calculations are incorrect. The repressor could also request release for having served two-thirds of the sentence for the first sentence in April of next year. In the second case, he has just completed 16 years, six months and 17 days in detention – which is why he is far from the 20 years that the official defense invokes.
Astiz’s defenders request his release in the case whose sentence has not yet been confirmed by the Room II of the Federal Chamber of Criminal Cassation, made up of judges Carlos Mahiques, Guillermo Yacobucci and Ángela Ledesma. In addition, the members of the Public Ministry of Defense demanded that the TOF 5 not take into account the reports of the Federal Penitentiary Service (SPF) on Astiz’s ability to reintegrate into society because in that file, since it is not firm, it must be considered that the repressor is “innocent.”
Right now, as far as you know Page 12, there are deliberations within the TOF5, which continues to receive the opinions of the complaints on the request for the release of the former member of the ESMA task force. Judges Daniel Obligado, Adriana Palliotti and Fernando Canero could be issued on Tuesday, judicial sources report.
Astiz, who has just turned 72, is a prisoner in Unit 31 of Ezeiza. He was sentenced, among other things, for having infiltrated the relatives who wanted to know what had happened to their disappeared. In this way, he gained the trust of the mothers who, since April 1977, had begun to meet in the Plaza de Mayo. Before them he introduced himself as Gustavo Niño and said that he had a missing brother. He forced one of the ESMA hostages to accompany him to meetings and introduced her as her sister.
It was Astiz who pointed out on December 8, 1977 to the militants who were to be kidnapped by the ESMA patrol in the Church of the Holy Cross, where they had gathered to gather signatures and money to publish a request in the newspaper The nation demanding information and denouncing forced disappearances. The kidnappings continued until December 10 of that year.
Among the twelve victims of the called “holy cross group”There are the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Azucena Villaflor, María Eugenia Ponce de Bianco and Esther Ballestrino de Careaga as well as the French nuns Alice Domon and Leonie Duquet. Justice took it for granted that the twelve militants of the Holy Cross were “transferred” in a flight of death that took off on December 14, 1977 and thrown into the sea. This Thursday, at 6:00 p.m., all the victims of these kidnappings will be remembered in the memory site of the Church of the Holy Cross, located at 3150 United States Street.