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Mon Aug 23, 2021, 09:22 PM

Argentina's d'Alessiogate: Marcelo d'Alessio convicted on attempted extortion charges

An Argentine federal court presiding over a case of state-sponsored extortion from the Mauricio Macri era, has convicted four of the dozens so far indicted as collaborators in the 2016-19 scheme.

The Buenos Aires Federal Tribunal, presided by Jorge Gorini, Rodrigo Giménez Uriburu and Enrique Méndez Signori, handed down a 4-year prison sentence against intelligence asset Marcelo d'Alessio and a 3 year, 8-month sentence against district attorney Juan Bidone.

Federal Intelligence (AFI) agents Rolando Barreiro and Claudio Álvarez received 2-year suspended sentences; Álvarez denied any involvement.

All were found guilty of the attempted extortion in 2016 of merchant Gabriel Traficante, 50.

d'Alessio, 51, an AFI asset with documented CIA and Mosad links, was denounced by Traficante of soliciting a ransom of $600,000 on threat of being tied in the media to the “container mafia” case - a case found to be concocted by d'Alessio for the purpose of extorting Traficante.

His collaborator, right-wing daily Clarín judicial affairs writer Daniel Santoro, had been indicted in 2019 for his role in the larger scheme - but was acquitted this August 13th after the presiding judge found that Santoro's involvement was due to "carelessness."

d'Alessio was likewise linked to Macri-era Security Minister Patricia Bullrich through presidential visitor logs as well as d'Alessio's own phone - both of which show frequent and cordial communications between them.

He chided Bullrich (and Santoro) in his final statement, for “running in a panic to use the media to cover themselves, saying that I was crazy and a liar, and even maintaining that I was talking to a grandchild” - a reference to Bullrich's defense when news of her calls with d'Alessio were revealed in May 2019.

From shakedown to breakdown

The wider d'Alessiogate scandal first surfaced when, in February 2019, 22 hours of incriminating tapes collected by farmer Pedro Etchebest, from whom d'Alessio sought a $300,000 ransom, were published by investigative journalist Horacio Verbitsky.

The tapes show d'Alessio boasting that some $12 million had been coerced since August 2018, that political opponents had been “framed,” and that Federal Prosecutor Carlos Stornelli (a close Macri ally) “managed” the enterprise.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https://www.eldestapeweb.com/politica/espionaje-ilegal/condenan-al-espia-ilegal-marcelo-d-alessio-a-4-anos-por-intento-de-extorsion-en-el-caso-traficante--202182313170

Former Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich and now-convicted Argentine Intelligence (AFI) asset Marcelo d'Alessio, with whom Bullrich maintained close and cordial contact throughout the 2016-19 extortion scheme.

d'Alessio was the first of numerous AFI agents and other officials indicted in the far-reaching d'Alessiogate case - involving millions of dollars in extortion and coerced testimony against opponents of right-wing former President Mauricio Macri.

Macri has close ties to both alleged principals in the extortion ring:

To Marcelo d'Alessio through d'Alessio's uncle (whom Macri appointed presidential notary public), and through d'Alessio's former law partner - who administered Macri's blind trust while in office.

And to Federal Prosecutor Carlos Stornelli through the Boca Juniors football club (which Macri headed until entering politics); Stornelli was indicted in a related case but yet not convicted.

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