BUENOS AIRES – An Argentine federal judge on Thursday ordered the headquarters of the Audiovisual Communication Services Authority, or Afsca, vacated and – if need be – for anyone refusing to leave the premises to be forcibly ejected amid a dispute over control of the entity, court authorities said.
At the request of Attorney General Carlos Stornelli, Judge Julian Ercolini ordered the clearing of the building with an eye toward “preserving the assets” of the entity.
The judge said that a decision is pending regarding whether or not the decree to intervene in Afsca signed by President Mauricio Macri is valid.
“It is necessary to order the searching of the site, telling those present to withdraw on their own immediately from the building, and – if necessary – to proceed to clear it,” Ercolini ruled in his decision, as cited by the state-run Telam news agency.
The judge ordered the carrying out of “an exhaustive verification of the state of the assets ... located at the site.”
At the office door, Afsca chief Martin Sabbatella, who is refusing to resign despite being terminated by decree by Macri, announced that he will abide by the ruling, adding that “there is a portion of the judicial branch ... who want to violate the law.”
The presidential decree, announced on Wednesday by Communications Minister Oscar Aguad, ordered the raid on Afsca and the Aftica federal information and communication technology authority, along with the firing of the entities’ top leadership.
Sabbatella turned to the courts regarding the presidential decision, calling it “illegal” and adding that he will only resign after a court order.