On Tuesday, the La Plata Federal Appeals Court authorized the departure of 12 out of 19 crew members of the Venezuelan Emtrasur plane, which had been held in Argentina for over three months.
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In August, Federal Judge Federico Villena had authorized the departure of 11 Venezuelans and one Iranian. Simultaneously, he ordered a ban on leaving the country against the other seven crew members.
Such an authorization, however, could not be executed because prosecutor Cecilia Incardona appealed the ruling. The legal process then passed to the La Plata Court of Appeals.
Today's decision was made by Chamber III, which is made up of judges Carlos Vallefin and Roberto Lemos, who order Judge Villena to expedite and conclude "all pending proceedings, the definition of the procedural situation, and the restrictions imposed on people and things."
The crew released are Victoria Valdiviezo, Cornelio Trujillo, Vicente Raga, Jose Ramirez, Zeus Rojas, Jesus Landaeta, Armando Marcano, Ricardo Rendon, Albert Gines, Angel Marin, Nelson Coello, and Mahdi Mousel. Four Venezuelans and three Iranians are still being held.
The Boeing 747 owned by Emtrasur, which is a subsidiary of the Venezuelan state airline CONVIASA, was arbitrarily seized in Argentina in June and its crew was forced to remain in this South American country. Throughout this process, the Bolivarian authorities have been denouncing the intention of the United States to illegally seize the plane.
On August 2, the U.S. Justice Department asked Argentina to allow it to seize the Venezuelan aircraft because "it is subject to sanctions." To justify this new act of economic piracy, Washington argued that the transfer of the Boing 747 from the Iranian company Mahan Air to Emtrasur violated U.S. export laws.