Argentina's Supreme Court opened on Tuesday a new term with the head Justice Ricardo Lorenzetti delivering a very much awaited speech calling for 'an end to impunity' and a strong reply to harsh comments by President Cristina Fernandez on Sunday, renewing her administration’s criticism against the judicial system.
Speaking during almost an hour, Ricardo Lorenzetti highlighted that “it is our obligation to end with impunity. It is time to determine that in every of these cases, processes that have no results, dark investigations that get tangled up, that is ending with impunity”.
He added that the three branches of government must focus on legal processes and not in “in disputes of powers” that have no connection with “the fight against impunity.”
“These disputes between branches have already been tested in the past. Victims do not expect their frustrations to be the result of disputes between the Executive, the Legislative, the Judicial powers, blaming each other. It never worked out,” Lorenzetti affirmed pledging for what he called a “more mature way” that needs the “cooperation” of each area of the State.
“Institutions do not work if those in charge talk about power and citizens about their problems.”
Saying all the branches of the state must “build collective agendas based on people’s agenda,” the justice considered people, “the victims”, expect the state to “cooperate to resolve their problems” and insisted ”the rest is mere political speculation”.
Acknowledging delays in legal processes, he pointed out some “concrete problems that have to be cleared,” stressing that many judges have not yet been appointed and that tribunals created in 2010 are not operating.
Furthermore, he called for a “profound reform” in the security sectors “so that judges can count on a scientific police with technical capacities, adequate equipment.”
According to the president of the Supreme Court, a reform of key areas that work hand-in-hand with justices is a must. “There is no other way. If there is no investigation, how do we do to find the guilty?”
Lorenzetti’s message came after President Cristina Fernandez on Sunday accused a sector of the Judicial Branch of leading a “party” that has become “independent from the Constitution and the law,” pointing also at the Supreme Court’s responsibilities in delays in the trial investigating the cover-up of the AMIA attack.
Addressing the Legislative Assembly, opening parliamentary sessions for the last time as president of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez also questioned the role played by the Supreme Court in the investigation into the bombing of the embassy of Israel that took place in 1992, two years before the attack against the AMIA Jewish community center.
“Can somebody inform this President which is the result of this investigation conducted by the Court on the attack against the embassy of Israel? Who are the convicted? Who are the accused? What happened? And can they tell me why the State of Israel does not demand (to know about) the embassy and it does demand (to know about) the AMIA?” blasted the president.
Lorenzetti picked up the glover bringing to the table a 1999 ruling by the then Supreme Court that “determined (…) the responsible” was Hezbollah. “We cannot modify what has already been judged.”
“To the citizens we tell you not to have fears; that the Supreme Court is to protect your rights. Our duty, of the Supreme Court and judges, is to give protection where there are fears,” he continued saying such was “the duty of all who have institutional responsibilities,” to provide confidence and prevent “fears.”