Juan Manzur’s move to co-opt the Judicial Power of Tucumán

A controversial vote at the head of the Judicial Branch of Tucumán It generated repercussions in the political sphere, and led to harsh criticism from the opposition. By majority, the judge of the Supreme Court of Justice of Tucumán (CSJT), Daniel LeivaHe will preside over the northern district high court for the next two years. Will replace Claudia Sbdar, who had been the first woman to hold that position in the history of the Tucumán justice.

Leiva is one of the five members of the CSJT, and the one who had received the most questions in recent times from rivals to the Chief of Staff, Juan Manzur, and the interim governor, Osvaldo Jaldo.

This Wednesday, the magistrate was appointed by his peers as the highest authority of the Supreme Court, based on the votes of Antonio Estofán, from Eleonora Rodríguez Campos and your own. Sbdar, meanwhile, had exchanged support with Daniel Posse, so each one ended with one vote.

Leiva had arrived at the CSJT in 2019, after the death of the then vocal Antonio Gandur. Until then, he had served as head of the State Prosecutor’s Office for the management of Manzur, and his role was to defend public interests in the lawsuits brought against the Province. Anyway, the lawyer – of militancy in the Justicialist Party– He reached his new position designated as a trusted man of Jaldo.

In 2020, as a member of the Supreme Court of Tucumán, Leiva was involved in a scandal of high institutional impact, after the criminal chambermaid Enrique Pedicone -Then dismissed through a political trial- denounced that he had received pressure from this magistrate to “regulate the intensity” in the case for alleged sexual abuse against the opposition legislator Ricardo Bussi (Republican Force).

Daniel Leiva, upon taking office as the new member of the Supreme Court of Justice of Tucumán, in 2019. (Photo: Judicial Branch of Tucumán)

Pedicone, at that time, released a series of audios in which – according to his version – Leiva is heard urging him to take a certain position on that file, supposedly at the request of Manzur and of Jaldo. The conversation, recorded in a bar in North neighborhood of Tucumán, was dismissed as evidence by the provincial Justice. It was also not relevant to the Legislature’s Impeachment Commission, which quickly shelved the removal order against the magistrate.

Just over a year after this episode, the highest court in the province of Manzur renewed its authorities. A) Yes, Leiva not only will he preside over the Court, but also the electoral regulations in force in Tucumán place him as head of the Electoral Board. Therefore, he will be the man who will be in charge of the controlling body of the elections that will define the next governor, in 2023.

“The choice of Daniel leiva as president of the Supreme Court of Justice of Tucumán he puts a bow on the ‘Custom Justice‘designed by the ruling party. What causes against the friends of the current power will Leiva ask to ‘continue to bite low’ or to ‘manage the intensity’? audios broadcast by the former judge Pedicone. And he maintained that the new head of the highest court “is going to be ‘careful’ with issues that have to do with the government, because he is part of it, of that space.”

For his part, the national deputy Jose Cano (UCR-Juntos por el Cambio) considered that Leiva’s election “is an unthinkable recognition for the one who starred in one of the most shameful legal political scandals in the province.” “God save us from an Electoral Board under his designs in the provincial Election scheduled for 2023,” added the radical.

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