Federal Judge Ariel Lijo yesterday acquitted Vice President Gabriela Michetti in a case investigating the questionable origins of a significant sum of money that was stolen from her house on November 22, 2015: the day of the presidential runoff election when she became Vice President.
Michetti had come under heavy fire for failing to disclose the robbery to the public, something that prompted Victory Front (FpV) Deputies Rodolfo Tailhade and Juan Cabandié to press charges against her in order to determine if the AR $245,000 and US $50,000 was stolen from her came from legal sources of income. Federal Prosecutor Guillermo Marijuán decided there were reasons to suspect this could have been the case — an opinion Lijo later shared — and began an investigation.
According to Michetti, the AR $200,000 was part of a donation to the SUMA Foundation, which she presides, while AR 45,000 was meant to pay for remodeling work being done to her house, and the remaining US $50,000 was a loan from her romantic partner, Juan Martín Tonelli Banfi.
Yesterday, Judge Lijo determined that this was indeed the case and decided to end the legal proceedings, arguing that “the large number of probes didn’t even allow me to presume there was an illegal behavior.”
“A large number of investigations were carried out — bank reports, analysis of affidavits and accounting books from the foundation presided by the Vice President, among them — and the results proved the legal origins of the money,” Lijo explained in his ruling.
Another court continues investigating the burglary itself. The only person to have been charged in this is David Juan Pablo Cruzado, who was one of Michetti’s bodyguards at the time and is the main suspect of having taken the money.