Uruguayan prosecutor Gabriela Fossati requested this Tuesday the formalization of the investigation and asked for the preventive imprisonment of Alejandro Astesiano, the personal custodian of the President of the Republic, Luis Lacalle Pou.
In the hearing, which took place in the 35th Criminal Court, Fossati requested the indictment of the head of the presidential custody for the crimes of association to commit a crime and continuous crime of supposition of civil status as co-perpetrator (creating a false civil status), action punishable by article 259 of the Criminal Code.
He was also charged with the crime of influence peddling (article 158 of the Penal Code) and the prosecutor requested 30 days of preventive detention, a measure that was finally ordered by Judge Matías Porciúncula.
Fossati requested the preventive detention due to the potential risk of hindering the investigation; while Astesiano requested special conditions of confinement due to an episode he had with inmates who had stolen his son in July of this year.
At the hearing, the prosecutor argued to request the formalization of the investigation the existence of a mechanism that adulterated original Russian birth certificates, registering citizens of Russian nationality as natural children of Uruguayan citizens.
The complaint for which Astesiano was investigated was first filed by the National Directorate of Civil Investigation, after an official noticed that there were altered birth certificates. At least 60 false birth certificates were detected.
An internal investigation within the agency revealed that Russians, Venezuelans, Cubans and Uruguayans were involved in the scheme.
In particular, Russian applications were submitted with birth certificates claiming to have Uruguayan parents, turning them into natural citizens in order to gain access to Uruguayan passports.
Astesiano's name and connection with an organization that falsified Russian birth certificates emerged from wiretaps carried out by the National Intelligence Directorate within the framework of the investigation carried out by the Prosecutor's Office.
Between Friday 23 and Saturday 24, two people of Russian nationality and one Uruguayan were arrested for the case.
The data, according to Fosatti, were obtained from records registered in various departments of the country (Montevideo, Minas, Rio Negro and other localities) and, subsequently, were processed at the National Directorate of Civil Identification (DNIC).
Fossati said that the Prosecutor's Office was able to gather a significant amount of evidence that allowed to request, in principle and without prejudice to further investigations, the formalization of the investigations for a Russian citizen (R. K.), the custodian of President Lacalle Pou and a notary, identified as A. F.
”The charges were reached after two years of work, which allowed to identify them as participants in an activity of 'management' and 'obtaining documentation' to adulterate foreign documentation, in which, through various mechanisms, they identified a Uruguayan citizen, generally deceased. The notary managed the documents, indicated the steps to follow and acted as a manager. Astesiano intervened both as a translator (as a qualified translator) or as a manager and obtained the clients, agreed on the amount of his intervention, paid the notary, and indicated the steps to be followed to the interested parties”, said Fossati in reference to the other accused in the case.