Criminal case filed against Milei for praising tax evasion

Criminal case filed against Milei for praising tax evasion
Fecha de publicación: 
23 April 2024
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Former Judge Eduardo Freiler filed Monday a criminal complaint against President Javier Milei for saying during his appearance last Frida at the Llao Llao Forum in Bariloche that whoever evades taxes was a hero for being able to escape from the State's claws. In Freiler's view, Milei committed an “apology of crime” and an “instigation to commit a crime,” in addition to other charges.

“They put capital controls, so the one who escapes is a criminal, but he is a hero, he managed to escape from the clutches of the State,” said Milei much to the disbelief of attendees. “You laugh but I see it this way. I would recommend buying dollars in black, so they don't have to pay a lot of stupid taxes to finance the useless,” insisted Milei.

Freiler's case ended up in Buenos Aires Federal Court 10, which has no magistrate after the sudden death of Claudio Bonadío. Federal Judge Julián Ercolini is in charge of it on an interim basis.

The former judge argued that “no one like the President of the Nation himself can undermine tranquility and public order by empowering actions that are democratically imposed as criminal” and warned about the possible negative repercussions of these statements.

In addition to Freiler's case, Milei is facing the one filed by journalist Jorge Lanata, which ended on Judge Ariel Lijo's court as the latter is being put forward by the Liberal administration to fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court. Lanata argued that he had to sue Milei because otherwise he would be implicitly admitting that Milei was right when he accused Lanata of being in the pay of certain politicians, particularly former Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.

Lanata filed “insult” charges, a crime consisting of accusing another person of conduct that implies a devaluation of his person.

“Milei has gone far beyond the exercise of his right to disseminate ideas and opinions. He has dedicated himself to offend me without any justification or cause”, said Lanata in his complaint, sponsored by lawyers Elba Marcovecchio (Lanata's wife) and Patricio Carballés.

The journalist denounced an “incessant attack on the press”, which includes -in addition to his case- other colleagues whom the President also questioned on social media.

Lanata had criticized the presence of Israel's Ambassador to Buenos Aires Eyal Sela during the Crisis Cabinet meeting assessing the ongoing crisis in the Middle East.

Milei said on X that Sela did brief the attendees at the Casa Rosada gathering and left. Only then did the cabinet meeting begin, Milei argued.

“He identifies me as a 'larretista', something I am not in any way,” Lanata also mentioned in his filing. “Branding me as a 'liar' and receiving envelopes is unambiguously intended to damage the reputation of the person attacked. This only aggravates the offense, since for the criminalization of the offense it is enough that the knowledge of the injury has been brought, by the intentional work of the agent, to third parties outside the process,” he added.

Upon reading the post, Lanata responded: “He can't just say whatever he wants about anyone; let's see if he gets used to not insulting freely. He cannot talk about envelopes without evidence, whether he is the president of the United Nations or the president of Argentina. Then we will meet in Court with the President and we will see if he can sustain it... I am not a larretista, but I could be, I do not care very much. I do not receive envelopes [containing bribe money] and it is public, I have been working for 40 years.”

“It is interesting what happens every time you show a journalist lying,” Milei upped the ante.

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