ArgentinaThe remaining crew members of the Venezuelan airline will leave the country
The last five crew members of an immobile cargo plane from Buenos Aires have been authorized to leave Argentine territory since June. They were investigated for possible links with the Iranian organization Al-Quds.
An Argentine court has authorized the departure of the last five Iranian and Venezuelan crew members of a cargo plane that had been held in Buenos Aires for four months as part of an investigation into possible links to Iran’s al-Quds organization. The order was quoted in the press on Saturday.
Three Iranians were questioned at the end of September as part of the investigation, and have denied any links to the terrorist organization. Two Venezuelan members detained in Argentina were also questioned. All appeared free.
On Friday, Judge Federico Villena, pressured by the appeals court to make a decision quickly given the slowness of the process, lifted the ban on leaving the territory, deeming there was no reason to prosecute the group members. They were notified on Monday. “When the elements of the investigation do not make it possible to establish a charge, at the same time, the existence of the law, its criminal nature or the responsibility of the accused (…) does not authorize the exclusion of the existence of the judge. The judge must order the disqualification of the procedure,” the judge said in his order, quoted by the official Telam agency. .
14 personnel have already managed to return home
Fourteen other crew members — 12 Iranians and two Venezuelans — had already been dismissed and were allowed to return home in mid-September. A Venezuelan 747 freighter from Emtrasur, a subsidiary of Conviasa targeted by US sanctions, stopped in Argentina in early June, where it had arrived from Mexico and was carrying auto parts. His group was banned from leaving Argentina while justice investigated their profile, classified as a terrorist organization by the US along with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its al-Quds faction.
Specifically the pilot, Colmaresa Ghasemi, and suspicions regarding his current or past connections to al-Quds. Argentina’s defense minister denied any link in this sense, but an intelligence minister from neighboring Paraguay – where the plane passed through – instead confirmed a link, citing “agencies (intelligence) allies”. The plane was previously owned by Iran’s Mahan Air, which Washington accuses of supporting al-Quds. Caracas and Tehran protested and demanded that Argentina be allowed to leave. Iran insisted the flight was “totally legal” and that the case was a “propaganda move” linked to nuclear tensions between the West and Iran.
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