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Once Train Disaster: Suspects Arrested After Denial of Taking Case to Supreme Court

51 people were killed and 789 injured in the train crash.

By | [email protected] | October 5, 2018 3:22pm

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A Federal Criminal Tribunal today ordered the arrest of the main suspects in the “Once train disaster” case, after the Cassation Court rejected the defendants’ plea to take the case to the Supreme Court.

In case you don’t remember, early on February 22, 2012, a train on the Sarmiento line failed to stop when it was arriving at the Once station. It crashed into safety barriers, killing 51 people and injuring hundreds more.

Former Transportation Secretary Juan Pablo Schiavi, the former owner of Trenes de Buenos Aires Company (TBA) Claudio Cirigliano and train motorman Marcos Córdoba still have the possibility to directly request the highest court in the country to review their cases. But they will await for the reply – providing they exercise their right – in prison. All of them have turned themselves in throughout the day.

Schiavi’s predecessor, Ricardo Jaime, was also sentenced in this case but did not turn himself in because he has been in prison since 2016 as a result of a conviction in a case where he was convicted of defrauding the state by buying trains to Spain that were in such dire state that they could not even be used.

The accused were first sentenced on December 29, 2015: former Secretaries of Transport Ricardo Jaime and Juan Pablo Schiavi, were sentenced to six and eight years in prison respectively. Schiavi was in office at the time of the crash. Sergio Claudio Cirigliano was given the most severe sentence with nine years in prison.

Córdoba, on his end, was sentenced to three years and six months (and is banned from driving for seven years). It was proven during the investigations that train’s brakes had worked in other stations, but that he had repeatedly warned that the brakes had problems.

Former Planning minister Julio de Vido, in pre-trial arrest since 2017 as a result of his alleged involvement in another corruption case, is currently facing trial for the crash. The tribunal is expected to determine his fate shortly. The train system was under De Vido’s jurisdiction between 2003 and 2012.