Political News

Argentine judge denounced over parolee turned murder suspect

Posted April 10

— Argentine officials are seeking the removal of a judge who freed a convicted rapist now under arrest for a young woman's murder.

Judge Carlos Rossi granted probation in 2016 to Sebastian Wagner, who was sentenced to nine years in 2012 for raping two women. Wagner was arrested Friday in the killing of 21-year-old Micaela Garcia.

Justice Minister German Garavano demanded Monday that Rossi step aside or face a political trial where he could be ousted. President Mauricio Macri also asked him to resign over the weekend.

"He has to understand the scope of his power and that it is there to help the community and not to follow some ideological whim," Macri said.

Rossi granted the probation because Wagner had demonstrated good behavior. But psychiatric and prison reports had recommended against his release.

Rossi has not spoken publicly about the issue, and calls to his court rang unanswered.

The case has raised new criticisms about Argentina's penal code, with some saying that it grants rights to criminals while it fails to protect victims.

A woman is killed every 30 hours in Argentina, according to Casa del Encuentro, a women's rights group and shelter.

Garcia had been missing for several days and her body was found Saturday. Thousands of people protested her killing in Buenos Aires and other Argentine cities over the weekend, part of an ongoing campaign condemning violence against women. Before her murder, Garcia herself had attended demonstrations related to the "Not One Less" campaign that was launched in Argentina in 2015 and that has been echoed with marches worldwide.

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