Generation Zoe lawyer Gustavo Saavedra pleads guilty
The first of the arrested Generation Zoe defendants in Argentina has pled guilty.
As reported by El Dario in Spanish on May 24th;
Gustavo Saavedra, a former lawyer for Generación Zoe, pleaded guilty and an initial shortened trial will take place, which will begin “between next week and 15 days,” the prosecutor said.
The “shortened trial” I believe is a mistranslation of a hearing pertaining to Saavedra’s guilty plea.
Saavedra (right) was arrested in Argentina in April 2022.
He is one of “around 31” defendants criminally charged over participation in Leonardo Cositorto’s Generation Zoe Ponzi scheme.
Regarding the remaining defendants, the prosecutor indicated that “they are still in process” and that “we estimate that by the end of the year the trial will be elevated for all those involved, which are around 31 people.”
It is worth noting that the file currently has more than 80 volumes, with 200 pages each, and more than 500 testimonies included.
The only Generation Zoe suspect Argentinian authorities haven’t been able to apprehend is Hector Luis Yrimia.
Yrimia, a former Judge, fled to Dubai in September 2021 upon learning he was under investigation.
Argentinian authorities obtained an international arrest warrant for Yrimia, prompting him to turn himself over to Interpol’s Dubai branch.
Instead of arresting Yrimia and initiating extradition proceedings, Interpol Dubai let him go.
Argentinian authorities have contacted Dubai’s authorities multiple times to request Yrimia’s arrest, only to be ignored.
Yrimia still has an international arrest warrant out on him. Now believed to be under the protection of corrupt local authorities, Yrimia continues to live openly in Dubai.
I’m no lawyer but I think rather than “shortened trial” is best to call it abbreviated (or express) trial
And it is a legal mechanism that:
A really long description in Spanish is available here:
This agreement is a result of the defendant’s collaboration with valuable evidence (plus admittance of their crimes) in future trials against other defendants of (in this case) Generation Zoe.
All in All, Gus Saavedra is collaborating in order to get a shorter time in prison. No wonder Cositorto is calling him traitor during his long interviews from Bower Prison.
In addition, rumor has it two other people tried to use this mechanism (“juicio abreviado” in Spanish) but their contribution to the investigation were deemed “insuficient and redundant” so they will have to face the long legal process thus resulting in longer sentences.
PS: The Argentinian authorities are also hunting Venezuelan “Trading master and former fritter seller” Rosa Maria Gonzalez Rincon.
Allegedly Rosita is a mastermind and she’s hiding (not only the justice is after her!) with help of a group of former police officers and Hector Yrimia’s blessing.
Is it an actual trial though? If you’ve pled guilty I’m not seeing how you can have a trial too.
Unless they hold a mock trial and fast forward to the end to acknowledge the defendant has already pled guilty. Seems like a waste of time.
Well, we should ask a lawyer. Argentinian law is full of technicisms and colorful terms.
So far, he pleaded guilty as a condition for this express procedure. Saavedra expects a shorter time in prison and his collaboration has proven to be helpful.
That is why both Cositorto and Yrimia are nervous.
Logically I assumed “express procedure” = fastforward to a hearing acknowledging the guilty plea (change of plea hearing in the US) and then maybe sentencing.
This is of course based on my knowledge of the US criminal system so I could be wrong.
I think in Argentina “abbreviated” means two to three weeks
And regular trial is months long. XD
More info on Saavedra’s case:
First, indeed there were 4 people who wanted to plead guilty in order to have this “abbreviated” trial:
But what makes Saavedra’s case interesting for the prosecutor is that He is (allegedly) the agent of the assets of Cositorto and Yrimia:
Saavedra’s trial will take place on June the 15th
Thanks for the update.