Judge Alejo Ramos Padilla has confirmed that he will go to Congress next week to provide details about the controversial extortion case involving Prosecutor Carlos Stornelli and lawyer Marcelo D'Alessio.
The Dolores federal judge will appear in Congress next Wednesday, March 13, at 2pm, after accepting an invitation to appear from Civic Unity lawmaker Leopoldo Moreau, who heads the Freedom of Expression Committee.
A document provided to the Times, written by the federal judge, confirms his attendance "on the day and time indicated" by the committee and outlines the allegations against the duo he is investigating.
"Judge Ramos Padilla's presence in Congress next Wednesday will be within the framework of a public informative meeting, to learn the actions of illegal intelligence on journalists, political leaders and public figures," the Kirchnerite ex-Radical Moreau confirmed on Twitter.
The meeting will be public and open to legislators, and the judge will discuss details of his investigation to date, which reportedly includes details of illegal spying operations.
Stornelli is facing investigations, both criminally and through disciplinary channels within the Judiciary, for allegedly using a frontman, lawyer Marcelo D'Alessio, to extort money from business people tied to the alleged 'cuadernos' graft scheme known colloquially as the "notebooks" corruption case.
Stornelli is the lead prosecutor in the pre-trial investigation of that investigation, which links Argentina's construction sector with allegedly corrupt officials from the Planning Ministry during the previous Kirchner administrations.
Ramos Padilla's acceptance of the offer comes a day after Stornelli failed to appear before the judge after being summoned to testify.
"As a fact it is more than remarkable," Moreau said in an interview on C5N. "I do not remember if a judge has offered to go to Parliament to report an issue of this type or any other type, "said the national legislator during an interview by C5N. "That's why I think it's going to do the Republic good."
Yesterday, Ramos Padilla sent Argentina's interim Attorney General Eduardo Casal, a report detailing the accusations against Stornelli.
"He is accused in particular of claiming and ordering parallel investigations for judicial cases, [which is] not authorised by law," Ramos Padilla wrote.
The 20-page report goes beyond the original charge of D’Alessio’s bid to extort US$300,000 from businessman Pedro Etchebest to expose an espionage and extortion ring allegedly including prize-winning Clarín investigative journalist Daniel Santoro among various lesser-known names.
The investigation also includes a potential probe into the role of the United States on the basis of D’Alessio’s claim to be a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent.