Tuesday, April 16, 2024

ARGENTINA | 05-10-2023 17:04

Argentina's Supreme Court finally closes pandemic-era ‘Fiesta de Olivos’ case

Court case investigating criminal wrongdoing related to Fabiola Yáñez’s 39th birthday party during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown shut down; President Alberto Fernández and his partner let off as NGO’s bid to keep the case open knocked back.

The Supreme Court has definitively closed the court case lodged over the controversial 39th birthday celebrations of First Lady Fabiola Yañez in Olivos presidential residence during the strictest stages of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

According to the Noticias Argentinas news agency, the nation’s highest  judicial tribunal rejected a final appeal from an NGO against the "conciliation agreement" reached by all present at the party, including President Alberto Fernández.

The July 14 celebration during the winter of 2020 while lockdown was at its peak became public knowledge when photos of the event were leaked.

Now the Supreme Court has unanimously declared “inadmissible” a lawsuit of the Asociación Civil Republicana para la Justicia objecting to the conciliation agreement closing the case.

Lawyer Fernando Irazu representing the association sought to have it accepted as a “particular plaintiff” pressing criminal charges against Alberto Fernández, considering him responsible "for crimes against public health, abuse of authority and malfeasance in the context of the obligations imposed during the ASPO (Aislamiento Social, Preventivo y Obligatorio) quarantine dictated by Fernández himself via successive emergency decrees.”

The lawyer’s plea had been rejected by all previous instances and reached the Supreme Court, which adopted the same criterion. The ruling thus stays firm with no further questioning possible.

"The meeting shouldn’t have happened, I’m sorry," President Fernández apologised in public at the time. 

He and his wife settled in court “an integral reparation of the damage” caused by the birthday party. The agreement implied the payment of some three million pesos to public health institutions.

Last October the Federal Cassation Court had already pronounced the “inadmissibility” of the objections to the reparation.

The party, which was ultimately to mark a drastic change in the presidential image, was held on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, to celebrate the 39th birthday of Fabiola Yañez. Nine people were invited, entering the chalet at 9.30pm and leaving all together at 1.47am the following morning.

The photos show them with no facemasks and ignoring social distancing in breach of the impositions established by the government to reduce the impact of Covid-19. 

The list of those present (in the order shown in the most common photo of the event) was as follows: 

  1. President Alberto Fernández.

  2. Carolina Marafioti, personal hairdresser of Fabiola Yañez.

  3. First Lady Fabiola Yañez.

  4. Sofía Pacchi, assistant to Fabiola Yañez and a specialist in Communication and Protocol.

  5. Florencia Fernández, a friend of Fabiola Yañez.

  6. Santiago Basavilbaso, as above.

  7. Emmanuel López, advisor to Fabiola Yañez.

  8. Fernando Consagra, the partner of Emmanuel López and friend of Fabiola Yañez.

  9. Rocío Fernández, a friend of Fabiola Yañez.

  10. Federico Abraham, a hairdresser of Fabiola Yañez.

  11.  Stefanía Domínguez, a friend of Fabiola Yañez.



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