Argentine Congress votes to scrap intelligence agency
Iran Press TV
Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:17AM
Argentine legislators have voted to disband the South American country's intelligence agency and replace it with a new federal body that will be accountable to the Congress.
The lower house of Congress voted 131 to 71 in favor of the bill, which had already been approved by the Senate.
The measure came after President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner drafted a proposal last month to dissolve the Secretariat of Intelligence (SI) and set up a new service to be called the Federal Intelligence Agency, after the government said a renegade spy was linked to the death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
Fernandez has said Antonio Stiuso, who for years was the powerful director of operations at the SI, pushed Nisman into filing a formal criminal complaint against her, and was involved in the prosecutor's death.
On Tuesday, Oscar Parilli, who was appointed as the SI director in December last year, said Stiuso and others had illegally imported electronic goods and other equipment between 2013 and 2014.
Parrilli said the ring made use of a special law that allows the SI to import secret equipment, and illegally imported electronic goods as well as other equipment, without paying taxes or informing customs officials.
Meanwhile, opposition lawmakers have voiced their discontent with the decision to dissolve Argentina's intelligence body, arguing that the General Attorney's Office would now be in charge of overseeing all wiretaps.
'The most important issue is the lack of oversight,' opposition lawmaker Manuel Garrido said.
He added, 'What worries us is that there has not been, nor will there be proper control.'
Garrido said he offered an alternative bill that incorporated stricter controls, but it was obstructed by the ruling coalition.
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