Seventh Hearing – Thursday, July 26
julio 26, 2007 1 comentario
Osvaldo Papaleo, a former Press Secretary in the Isabel Perón administration, testified that the former chaplain of the Buenos Aires Police would visit prisoners after the torture sessions, “often dressed as a priest.” Rodofo Iaccarino, a businessman in the milk industry, described how his companies were looted. Spanish journalist Vicente Romero affirmed that Ramón Camps told him that the priest was his friend, confessor and collaborator.
The first witness to take the stand was Osvaldo Papaleo, a former Press Secretary to Isabel Perón and peronist militant. He was kidnapped and tortured in the days of the military dictatorship. He declared that former chaplain to the Buenos Aires Police Christian Von Wernich “would come and leave [the clandestine detention center] with complete freedom.” In his testimony, Papaleo affirmed that the priest visited him several times after torture sessions.
He also described the conditions of his six month imprisonment in the “Puesto Vasco” clandestine detention center. He said that Von Wernich would come to the center with “the rest of the gang” and Jorge Bergés (doctor to the Buenos Aires Police). According to the witness, there was an “organized group of torturers, each one had his role.”
In the cases of both Papaleo and Jacobo Timerman, Von Wernich was aware of what the victims had revealed during the torture sessions. Both victims felt that Von Wernich was one of the interrogators, although his role and style were different from the other torturers.
Papaleo referred to other prisoners being detained with him, including Enrique Jara, Jacobo Timerman, Eva Gitnacht de Graiver and Enrique Brodsky. He described how Timerman would be forced to sleep in a hole and often beaten and mistreated for being Jewish.
The second witness was Rudolfo Iaccarino, who was arrested with his brother Carlos Alberto in Santiago del Estero on November 4th, 1977. His brother Alejandro, his father and his mother were arrested at the same time in Buenos Aires.
The Iaccarino brothers were detained in the COTI Martínez center for more than a month. The conditions there were terrible: they would hear screams from the torture room and lived in a tiny cell with eight other people. They were hardly ever fed.
Iaccarino also recalled being taken to the Investigations Brigade Headquarters in Lanús, where he and his brother were visited by judge Leopoldo Russo and his secretary (Beatriz Aparicio). They were forced to sign a document relinquishing all their possessions, including land in Santiago del Estero, a private jet and a golf course in Córdoba. They never recovered any of their property.
The last witness to take the stand was Spanish journalist Vicente Romero, who was a foreign correspondent in Argentina for “El Mundo,” a well-known Madrid newspaper, during the military dictatorship .
The Spanish witness was heard on the recommendation of the plaintiffs from the “Justicia Ya” group, mainly for having interviewed Ramón Camps in the last months of the dictatorship.
According to the journalist, Camps showed him a report written for the Apostolic Nunciature and given to the Holy See, in which the military junta recognized its crimes and that near 1800 people had been buried in mass graves around the country.
Romero also said that “companies in which the militaries were involved, meaning those in which they were on the board, should also be investigated. Ford and Mercedes Benz are two representative examples.”