Use an apartment borrowed by an old political friend, valued at 2 million dollars

Use an apartment borrowed by an old political friend, valued at 2 million dollars
Use an apartment borrowed by an old political friend, valued at 2 million dollars

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As a way of life, the federal judge Ariel Lijo He wove a wide network of relationships, not only in the judicial world but also in politics. Lijo is a strong man of Comodoro Py who faced complaints for his assets and for the handling of sensitive causes for power. None of the accusations brought him major consequences and, despite them, he is close to becoming a judge of the Supreme Court of Justice.

Although the magistrate declared a only home in the town of Hudson, in the country Abril, In the Federal Capital, Lijo lives on the fifth floor of a luxurious building on Alvear Avenue, at the height of Ayacucho Street. The property, whose exact address is not included in this note because it is the address of a judicial official, has, according to market sources, a approximate value of US$2,000,000. A rental in that building would cost between US$5,000 and US$7,000 per month, calculated the real estate specialists consulted by THE NATION. And just the expenses, around $2,000,000.

The property, however, does not appear in the sworn declaration of assets presented by the magistrate, because it belongs to him, as reconstructed. THE NATION, to the former Argentine ambassador in Spain of the three Kirchnerist governments, Carlos Bettini, friend of the former president Cristina Kirchner, key figure for Lijo to obtain the votes of the Kircherist bloc in the Senate. This newspaper contacted Lijo and Bettini, but did not receive responses. According to him he reconstructed THE NATION, The former Argentine representative in Madrid, who faced accusations of corruption, maintains a long friendship with the federal judge and his brother, Alfredo Lijoknown for being an old judicial operator in the federal courts of Comodoro Py.

The brothers Alfredo and Ariel Lijo, the former president Felipe González, the former chambermaid Gabriel Cavallo and the former ambassador in Madrid Carlos Bettini, during a Justice and Human Rights symposium held in Spain in 2015

In his sworn statement filed last year at the Judicial Council (over fiscal period 2022) Lijo reported having real estate with a tax value of $10,390,476.52, which include a lot in Hudson, in country Abril. The lot was acquired in 2010 and the judge declared improvements made between 2011 and 2017. In the affidavit corresponding to the 2022 fiscal period, which is the last reported by the judge, He shares ownership of that property with his ex-partner Magalí Mazzucawho works at the Supreme Court of Justice as a legal secretary.

On the other hand, he declared a total of $1,503,137 in savings accounts and checking accounts from different banks, 9,580,000 pesos and 40,000 dollars in cash. At that time he also declared a total debt of $417,858.74 (This included a mortgage debt from Banco Provincia de Buenos Aires for $378,781.5 and credit card debts for $39,077.16).

The former Argentine ambassador in Madrid Carlos BettiniEFE

Lijo has a strong presence in the federal courts of Comodoro Py, where It has three courts in charge: his own, which is No. 4; No. 12, which remained vacant after the departure of the judge Sergio Torres and No. 6, which remains vacant after the resignation of Rodolfo Canicoba Corral. According to the salary scale, the salary of a trial judge is $2,818,486 and substitutes are paid around $771,769.

The judge also did not report the ownership of any vehicle in his last affidavit. However, as reported THE NATION In 2018, he drove a Mercedes Benz E class 350, with a blue ID issued by Caledonia Seguros, the company that belonged to his brother Alfredo “Freddy” Lijo. Caledonia accumulated cars behind which there is a criminal plot revealed by LA NACION last April.

Before the Government sent Lijo’s document to the Senate, it received strong challenges, almost all of them regarding its acting as judge and his assets. There are a group of entities that plan to present a new challenge in the coming days for alleged violations of the process, as established by decree 222, regarding the financial situation that the proposed candidates must prove about their children, spouses, cohabitants and their family environment.

The then Argentine ambassador to Spain, Carlos Bettini, along with Cristina Kirchner and the socialist José Luis Rodríguez ZapateroJASPER JUINEN – AP

When Nestor Kirchner elected and nominated Bettini for the Argentine embassy in Spain, in 2004, the radical leaders, led by Ángel Rozas, questioned the applicant’s passage through the board of directors of Aerolíneas Argentinas and its participation in other companies with Spanish capital. In fact, the versions about his role as a lobbyist were not just speculation, but turned into specific accusations that Bettini faced in court. He was dismissed in the federal courts of Comodoro Py at least three times, as reconstructed by this newspaper.

In 2004, as reported THE NATION, Bettini had refuted the questions with the argument that he was dismissed in two cases in the federal courts of judges Jorge Urso, in 2002, and Jorge Ballestero, in 2003.

Urso investigated him for a bribery complaint initiated by an anonymous person, due to statements from Patricia Bullrich in 2000 and Ballestero investigated him due to a complaint from the deceased lawyer Ricardo Monner Sans. Bullrich’s complaint pointed out that he had insinuated bribes when she served as head of the Undersecretary of Criminal Policy and Penitentiary Affairs, during the presidency of Fernando de la Rúa. That of Monner Sans was based on an alleged Bettini’s connection with directors of the Spanish Cirsa Gaming Group.

Towards the end of 2019, during the last days of the government of Mauricio Macri, Bettini received, once again, good news from the Argentine federal justice system. Former judge Canicoba Corral dismissed him (as deputy of Court No. 12) in a file that investigated him for alleged illicit enrichment, according to a note from Infobae.

Bettini’s political terminals in Spain, where he currently lives, were maintained over time and, last year, a group of legislators from Pro, UCR and the Civic Coalition sent a draft resolution to the Foreign Relations and Worship Commission to request information about the functions performed at the embassy, based on reports that the then ambassador Ricardo Alfonsín had him hired there.

“Despite the complaints against him, and with the connivance of the Argentine Foreign Ministry, Mr. Bettini was hired by Ambassador Ricardo Alfonsín in 2022 to serve in that embassy. in the business area, receiving a consistent remuneration”, says the project signed, among others, by Maxiliano Ferraro, of the Civic Coalition. And he maintains: “His appointment implies a clear violation of the law of the Foreign Service of the Nation, since his name does not appear on the payroll of employees of that diplomatic headquarters, which is why this hiring is being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Office. Given what has been said, it is essential that the pertinent explanations be given about the functions that Bettini performs in our delegation in Spain, as well as the remuneration he receives for it.”

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