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Sat Feb 20, 2021, 04:34 PM

Argentina's Spygate: 38 former Macri officials indicted

Indictments were issued in Argentine federal court against 38 officials in former President Mauricio Macri's 2015-19 administration for their roles in a wide-reaching surveillance operation against Macri's critics.

Those indicted by Federal Judge Juan Pablo Augé include former Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI) head Gustavo Arribas, former deputy AFI head Silvia Majdalani, former Federal Penitentiary Service (SPF) head Emiliano Blanco, and Macri's secretary Susana Martinengo.

The scheme, carried out between 2016 and 2019, involved over 500 targets of warrantless surveillance and over $80 million in undeclared expenses by an AFI team known as the "Super Mario Bros."

Judge Augé described them as "permanent association in accordance with the so-called 'cycle intelligence' - created with the purpose of obtaining information on an undetermined number of people by the mere fact of their private actions, or political opinions, or of adhesion or belonging to partisan, social, labor or community organizations."

"All actions expressly punished by the National Intelligence Law," Augé noted.

Known targets - believed to be as many as 1,500 - thus far include at least 403 journalists, 58 businesspeople, 28 academics, 20 federal lawmakers, 2 former presidents - as well as Macri's sister Florencia and her family.

Macri, 62, denied re-election in 2019 amid the worst recession in two decades, has been the focus of numerous scandals involving alleged warrantless wiretapping of both public figures and relatives - including another sister, the late Sandra Macri (resulting in his 2009 indictment).

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https://www.pagina12.com.ar/324885-espionaje-macrista-procesaron-a-las-cupulas-de-la-afi-y-el-s

Gustavo Arribas, head of intelligence under former Argentine President Mauricio Macri (his former business partner); and Arribas' deputy (and operational head of intelligence), Silvia Majdalani.

The two are the most prominent of some 38 former Macri officials indicted today as past of a probe into extensive - and warrantless - surveillance against both opponents and supporters of Macri's 2015-19 tenure.

An effort by Macri allies in the judiciary to transfer the case to Buenos Aires' right-wing dominated Comodoro Py federal courthouse was rebuffed on Thursday by an appeals court.

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