The anti-corruption prosecutor of the Argentine province of Entre Ríos who got former Governor Sergio Uribarri sentenced to 8 years in jail has been impeached out of office for failing to excuse herself from the case despite having very close ties with one of the defendants.
After the impeachment jury's 5-2 verdict was announced, the now-former prosecutor Cecilia Goyeneche said she would wait until she was formally notified of the ruling and then vowed to file an appeal before the Supreme Court.
Opposition lawmakers have criticized the jury's decision since Goyeneche was the one who promoted the case that led to Uribarri's conviction. Charges against Goyeneche had been filed by lawyers Carlos Reggiardo (who defended former vice-governor Domingo Daniel Rossi), Rubén Pagliotto, and Guillermo Mulet, who based their case on the fact that Goyeneche had not excused herself from the case of the trumped-up contracts of the Legislature, in which she was linked to one of the defendants.
During the investigation, prosecutors Patricia Yedro and Ignacio Aramberry, with the coordination of Goyeneche, reached accountant Pedro Opromolla, who was a friend of Goyeneche's husband and with whom the prosecutor herself shared two trusts.
Goyeneche said that, if her dismissal is confirmed, she will appeal the measure before the provincial Supreme Court and, if her appeal is rejected, she will go to the National Supreme Court.
The trial that Goyeneche is facing is related to her investigation in the case of the fraudulent contracts of the Legislature of Entre Ríos, a swindle for 50 million dollars through the simulated hiring of numerous employees of both legislative houses.
The prosecutor was accused of not having excused herself from the investigation when she discovered that a friend of her husband had been a partner of one of the defendants.
Goyeneche said this is the first round, meaning that the legal battle will go on. It may be long or not; it will depend on the highest court. It may be a long fight of several months or years, she added.
Goyeneche was suspended from office back in December while leading a trial against Urribarri for acts of corruption committed during his administration between 2007 and 2015.
The Court of Impeachment of Magistrates displaced the Public Prosecutor's Office from the investigation, and the process against the prosecutor from Entre Ríos was carried out with an ad hoc prosecutor. Goyeneche filed an injunction against this and obtained a first instance ruling in her favor.
But the Superior Court of Justice of Entre Ríos dismissed the ruling citing technicalities and allowed the impeachment jury to proceed with Goyeneche's dismissal.