REPORT No. 74/11 CASE 12.653 MERITS CARLOS AND PABLO CARLOS MEMOLI ARGENTINA July 20, 2011 I. SUMMARY 1. On February 12, 1998, Mr. Carlos Memoli and his son Pablo Carlos Memoli (hereinafter, “the petitioners” or “the alleged victims”) lodged a petition on their own behalf before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter, “the Commission,” “the Inter-American Commission” or “the IACHR”) for the alleged violation of their right to a fair trial and to freedom of thought and expression, enshrined respectively in Articles 8 and 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter, “the Convention” or “the American Convention”), against the Republic of Argentina (hereinafter, “the State,” “the State of Argentina” or “Argentina”). The petitioners and alleged victims claimed that they were found criminally responsible for denouncing the executive officers of a mutual benefit association of the city of San Andres de Giles for allegedly engaging in the irregular sale of burial vaults in the local cemetery. They also contend that the criminal case culminating in their conviction was tried without regard to due process. 2. The State argues that the alleged victims did not adequately exhaust domestic remedies and that the petition lodged with the IACHR does nothing more than call into question the outcome of a legal dispute over private matters between the Memolis and the plaintiffs. Additionally, it claims that the alleged victims had access to all judicial remedies provided for by Argentinean law and that the criminal sanction imposed on them abides by the provisions of Article 13.2 of the American Convention, inasmuch as the sanction is expressly and previously established by law and meets the requirements for the subsequent imposition of liability in order to protect the right to honor and reputation of the plaintiffs. 3. On July 23, 2008, the IACHR approved Report Nº 39/08, finding the petition admissible pertaining to Article 13 (right to freedom of though and expression) and Article 8 (right to a fair trial), in connection with Article 1.1 and 2 of the American Convention. 4. The Commission finds that the State has violated Article 8 and 13 of the American Convention, in connection with Article 1.1 and 2 of said treaty, to the detriment of Carlos and Pablo Carlos Memoli. II. PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE IACHR SUBSEQUENT TO ADMISSIBILITY REPORT No. 39/08 5. Upon approving Admissibility Report No. 39/08, the Commission assigned the number 12.653 to the case. On August 5, 2008, the Commission served notice to both parties of approval of the admissibility report, offered its assistance to help to reach a friendly settlement on the matter, and set a period of two months for the petitioners to make submissions on the merits. 6. On August 29, 2008, the petitioners submitted their arguments on the merits and requested a “conciliation hearing.” These arguments were forwarded to the State on October 16, 2008, requesting its reply within two months. On October 24, 2008, the petitioners expressed their interest in reaching a friendly settlement in the case. 7. In a brief dated October 20, 2008 received on January 23, 2009, the State informed the Commission that it had decided to not enter into the friendly settlement procedure in the case. On February 2, 2009, the Commission forwarded this brief to the petitioners.