DECISION IN FAVOR OF EDUARDO SAIEGH BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE ARGENTINE TREASURY, 1/6/2005
“2004 – Year of the Argentine Antarctica”
CUDAP File: Draft-S01:0001842/2003, in Four volumes
MINISTRY OF ECONOMY AND PRODUCTION
Attorney’s General Office of the Treasury
Buenos Aires, January 6 2005
To the Undersecretary of Legal Affairs of the
MINISTRY OF ECONOMY AND PRODUCTION;
The case of Architect Eduardo Saiegh has re-entered this Attorney’s General Office of the Treasury. Our query is related with Mr Saiegh’s claim as President of the Firm INVERSAI S.A. This Firm was allegedly a majority Shareholder of the former Banco Latinoamericano S.A. (BLA). In pursuance with Act 23.982, Section 18 (Official Gazette 8-23-91) and Decree # 2140/91, Section 32 (Official Gazette 10-25-91), the intervention of the Head of State has been requested, as stated in Section 3, item g) of the above mentioned Decree No. 2140/91, Section 32.
I – LEGAL BACKGROUND
1. The summary of all the antecedents regarding this Case was made in due time upon the former intervention of this Office, the terms of which are held to be incorporated herein brevitatis causa (See folios 433/437 and 455/458).
2.1. There is only one fact to add; i.e. further to the last Report, and which is relevant hereto, Architect Eduardo Saiegh requested (repeated, on his own terms) from the Ministry of Economy and Production the submission of these presents for the analysis of the Head of State. The Petitioner was entitled to make said request as per Section 3, Item g) of the aforementioned Section 32 Decree No. 2140/91.
Basically Mr Saiegh’s petition highlights the fact that the Key Issue under review – in his opinion- transcends the financial claim involved, being a case of Human Rights Violation (Deprivation of Personal Liberty and Unlawful Appropriation of Private property). As far as this matter is concerned, the Head of State …has stated his strong political and personal commitment, as well as his best efforts to revindicate and pursue justice.
In addition Mr Saiegh quoted a Legal Report issued by this Office regarding the unlawfulness of the Decision that revoked the Banco Latinoamericano S.A.’s authorization to operate and the subsequent compulsory winding up thereof (Resolution BCRA –Central Bank- No. 15/81). The same criterion was adopted by permanent Legal Service of said Ministry.
Furthermore and in accordance with the claimant’s statements, he would have filed a similar petition on July 27, 2003 (See folios 1/13 of the CUDAP: File –S01:0081452/2004 attached hereto as folio 487).
2.2 Another filing of similar nature was made by the claimant on September 14, 2004 (See folios 1/12 of the CUDAP: FILE-S01:0228562/2004, attached hereto as folio 494).
3.1. Upon request of its intervention, the Record Department of the CONADEP – SDH (Human Rights Bureau) –Act 24,321, Official Gazette 6-10-94- depending of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights informed amongst other factors that the detention of the claimant during the Military Process is part of the characteristic illegal operations perpetrated by the Military Dictatorship which ruled the country from 1976 through 1986.
…That the incarceration of Mr Saiegh who for a whole week had an status of incarcerated and missing person, clearly entails an unlawful deprivation of liberty aggravated by the fact that the Claimant was tortured and intimidated. The purpose of such extortion method was obtaining the confession of alleged offences to justify the compulsory winding up of the Banco Latinoamericano… (See folios 498/503).
3.2. Said Legal Report was shared by the Cabinet Chief of the abovementioned Secretariat, who concluded …Facts referred by Architect Saiegh hereunder fully match the methods and operations implemented by the Military Dictatorship being therefore an undoubted matter of Human Rights … (See Folio 509).
3.3 The Secretary of Human Rights came to an identical conclusion (See folio 510).
4. It is under these circumstances that my professional opinion has been requested (See Folio 513).
II -ANALYSIS OF THIS MATTER AND CONCLUSION THEREOF.
Having fully summarized the matters under review hereof, I notice that the purpose of this inquiry is to analyze Architect Eduardo Saiegh’s request to submit these presents for the review and consideration of the Head of State (in pursuance with Sections 18 Act 23,982 and 32 of Decree-Law No. 2140/91).
Having clarified the facts, my opinion is that … should the Minister of Economy and Production rule in favor of the petition filed by Architect Saiegh, there would be no legal impediments to proceed with the submission requested hereunder.
1. In fact, Section 32 of Decree No. 2140/91 sets forth the applicable procedure for transactions and on item g) thereof it reads that …THE MINISTRY and the GENERAL SECRETARY of the HEAD OF STATE shall have the option to: …g.3) submit the case to the decision of the FEDERAL EXECUTIVE BRANCH when the provisions contemplated by the subsequent item thereof are involved, or because they deem it convenient for the best final decision (writing in bold belongs to the undersigned)
2. The Rule is clear since it grants said power to the Minister in charge, which in this case is the Minister of Economy and Production. The aforementioned Officer is entitled to decide within the frame of his discretionary powers.
3. For all the above said, the Minister of Economy and Production is the competent Officer to understand and decide on the submission requested.
Such being the undersigned professional opinion.
(There follow two illegible signatures and a seal reading: Osvaldo César Guglielmino. Attorney General of the Treasury)
Legal Report No. 00