administration when he was serving as Mayor of the City of Corrientes. He maintains that the alleged victim
did not commit the offenses of which he was accused.
9.
He states that, on March 4, 1999, the Judge of First Instance ordered formal proceedings in
the case. In addition, on August 2, 1999, the Province lodged, against the alleged victim, a criminal complaint
and a civil suit for damages.
10.
The petitioner states that, on August 3, 1999, an arrest warrant was issued for the alleged
victim. He says the alleged victim was arbitrarily and unlawfully deprived of his liberty. He states that, on
October 5, 1999, an indictment was issued against the alleged victim and the other defendants for offenses of
graft, abuse of authority, and failure to perform the duties of public servants; misuse of public funds; and
fraud against the public administration. The same document allegedly ordered the preventive detention of
the alleged victim.
11.
He alleges that the Court of the First Examining Magistrate of Corrientes prematurely
imprisoned the alleged victim without a trial. He affirms that Mr. Raúl Romero Feris was deprived of his
liberty because of pressure on the magistrates from the coalition government.
12.
With respect to the First Examining Magistrate, the petitioner claims that he was designated
in an irregular, wrongful, and politicized manner by the Interim Governor of the Province, who, because he
was also Senator of the Province, approved the appointment. He states that the designated judge placed ninth
in the competition for the post but was still invested, passing over the eight better-qualified candidates. He
alleges therefore that the right to one's natural judge was violated. He argues that the appointment of that
judge was carried out by his political adversaries in the coalition government and concludes therefore that
judicial impartiality was lacking.
13.
Once the investigations phase was completed, the case was placed before the Second
Criminal Chamber of the First Judicial District of the Province (hereinafter “Second Chamber”). He states that
the alleged victim was judged by chamber members designated by the Federal Auditor “by special
appointment,” not as provided in Article 142 of the Provincial Constitution, under which “they are appointed
by the Executive with Senate approval.” He says the defense challenged the composition of this tribunal,
rejecting the designated judges and calling it invalid. He says that this motion was rejected 'in limine' by the
same Chamber.
14.
He states that, on February 19, 2001, he lodged a motion for dismissal with a subsidiary
appeal, which was rejected on May 31, 2001, by the Second Chamber. He states that, on June 14, 2001, he
lodged an appeal in cassation, requesting that the actions be voided, on the grounds that the grievances
described constituted a non-actionable political matter. He states that this motion was denied in Ruling No.
22, on June 15, 2001, by the same Chamber.
15.
The petitioner questions the independence and impartiality of these judges and does not
consider them his natural judges. He alleges that the magistrates were biased and prejudiced. He states that
one of the magistrates of the Second Chamber, after condemning the alleged victim, sent an electronic
message to various addressees--including the Argentine Senate--in which he referred to the ruling issued and
to the alleged victim in offensive and discrediting terms, calling him a “sinister figure” and claiming he was
responsible for "plunging this Province into poverty and indigence.”
16.
He alleges that the State violated the term of two years of preventive detention provided for
in Act 24.390, which is, in turn, a violation of Article 7 of the American Convention. He states that, in that
light, the petitioner submitted a motion for release on behalf of the alleged victim.
17.
Information submitted by the petitioner indicates that, on August 1, 2001, the Court of the
First Examining Magistrate extended the alleged victim's preventive detention in view of the case's particular
circumstances, deeming it a reasonable period of detention when taking into account the 52 cases in which
the alleged victim was indicted.
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