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  HOME | Argentina

Ex-President Menem’s Stay on Factory Explosion Case Revoked

BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s Supreme Court annulled on Thursday the stay granted to former President Carlos Menem in a case involving his alleged responsibility in a 1995 explosion at a military factory in the central province of Cordoba.

The Federal Chamber of Criminal Appeal, in a majority ruling, decided to overturn the motion filed by prosecutors and nullify the 2014 court ruling in favor of Menem, who governed from 1989-1999 and is currently a senator.

The court – comprised of Judges Alejandro Slokar, Carlos Mahiques and Angela Ledesma – also confirmed the stay handed down to former army chief Martin Balza.

With their decision, the magistrates returned the case to the Federal Appeal Chamber in Cordoba to render “a new ruling.”

Seven people died and 30 were injured in the blast that occurred at the Rio Tercero Military Factory on Nov. 3, 1995, presumably as part of an attempt to cover up missing military munitions, which had been illegally sent from Argentina to Ecuador and Croatia between 1991-1995.

The explosion destroyed about 100 homes and caused losses of some $25 million to the city of Cordoba.

In August 2013, Menem had been brought to trial for the second time in the matter, after the Supreme Court rejected the defense team’s argument to keep him out of court.

However, a year later, the Federal Chamber in Cordoba dismissed the case, having ruled that insufficient evidence existed to prosecute the former president.

 

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