Argentina's Ambassador to Israel and Cyprus Sergio Uribarri has resigned after being sentenced to 8 years in jail for embezzlement and negotiations incompatible with public office.
The judicial decision was made Thursday in the Argentine city of Paraná, capital of the Province of Entre Ríos, of which Uribarri was governor between 2007 and 2015.
Uribarri considered the ruling a legal aberration built on beliefs and prejudices. He described the Court's attitude as corporate and assured: We will never renounce to the truth, I will never submit to the political operation of intimidation and disciplining. Whatever they do and whatever happens, I will never stop doing politics.
The former governor, his former Minister of Communication, and Urribarri's brother-in-law received effective prison sentences. Uribarri will not go to jail for the time being since the lower court's decision is subject to appeals. Urribarri's conviction also entailed a ban from public office. The trial was for irregularities from 2010 to 2015.
Signing Uribarri's sentence were provincial Judges José María Chemez, Carolina Castagno and Elvio Garzón. The verdict was unanimous, Chemez explained.
The trial included cases such as El sueño entrerriano, which was the slogan of Urribarri's failed presidential campaign, Causa del Mercosur, about expenditures for a presidential meeting in Paraná in 2014, which were in the court's view allocated to Uribarri's political campaigning.
The judicial process began in September of 2021 and took almost 50 hearings until Thursday's sentence. Besides Uribarri there were 12 other defendants charged with corruption.
Chemez pointed out that it must be absolutely clear that this court has not judged, nor has it submitted to its knowledge, the evaluation of a government administration, nor the convenience, opportunity or merit of the acts of that government; even less, the ideology, the party identification, or the political thought of the government exercised by Sergio Urribarri, nor the legitimacy of the political aspirations of the former governor.