CSJN – “Cirigliano, Sergio Claudio y Jaime, Ricardo Raúl s/ causa n° 36/2013 y 38/2013”, 26/08/14

SUMARIO – La sala IV de la Cámara Federal de Casación Penal, por mayoría anuló el auto de citación de las partes a juicio dictado por el titular del Juzgado Nacional en lo Criminal y Correccional Federal n° 10, ante el cual había quedado radicada la etapa principal de este procedimiento correccional en el que se les imputa la comisión de delitos de ofrecimiento y aceptación de dádivas del artículo 259 del Código Penal.

Contra ese pronunciamiento de la Cámara, el Fiscal General de esa instancia interpuso recurso extraordinario federal, con base en la doctrina de la arbitrariedad.

La cámara de casación declaró inadmisible esa apelación, lo que motivó la queja ante la Corte Suprema.

La Corte Suprema de Justicia de la Nación, por mayoría, hizo lugar a la queja, declaró procedente el recurso extraordinario y dejó sin efecto la sentencia apelada, remitiendo los autos para que, por quien corresponda, se dicte un nuevo pronuciamiento. Para así decidir hizo suyos los fundamentos y conclusiones expuestos por el señor Procurador Fiscal Eduardo Ezequiel Casal.

Fundamentos

Si bien la decisión atacada no era una sentencia definitiva en el sentido exigido por el artículo 14 de la ley 48 para la apelación ante la Corte Suprema, pues no pone fin al proceso, el Procurador Fiscal sostuvo que en el caso concurren razones que justifican su equiparación a tal. En tanto la decisión de anular el auto de citación a juicio que el Ministerio Público Fiscal objeta, sella prácticamente la suerte del proceso, causando a esa parte un agravio imposible de reparar en forma ulterior. En efecto, una vez declarada la invalidez de ese acto procesal, el anterior acto con capacidad de interrumpir la prescripción de la acción penal, habría tenido lugar más de dos años antes del día en que la cámara de casación dispuso la anulación, por lo que el plazo de prescripción aplicable (art. 67, cuarto párrafo del Código Penal) se hallaría en principio cumplido.

En cuanto al fondo de la arbitrariedad postulada, el Procurador Fiscal entendió que los dos votos que formaron la decisión mayoritaria del a quo, se limitan a describir la secuencia de los actos procesales relevantes y a determinar la conclusión normativa, sin advertirse fundamento jurídico alguno en sustento de la decisión que propician, lo que impide tener a la resolución impugnada como acto jurisdiccional válido. Máxime cuando la solución que de esa manera se adopta ignora sin razón explícita la regulación expresa de la legislación procesal aplicable al caso que indica al juez recusado que, cuando declara inadmisible la recusación planteada, ha de continuar sin embargo con la actividad procesal que le corresponde incluso durante la tramitación de las incidencias a las que el rechazo del planteo dé lugar y que esos actos serán, en su caso, declarados nulos si se acogiera en definitiva la recusación, lo que no ha ocurrido en el presente caso (art. 62 del Código Procesal Penal). Por ello concluyó que correspondía descalificar el fallo en cuestión, con arreglo a la doctrina de la Corte sobre arbitrariedad de las sentencias, pues se aparta inequívoca e infundadamente de la solución normativa prevista para el caso.

Ver dictamen completo del Procurador

Normativa involucrada

Art. 14 Ley 48 – Una vez radicado un juicio ante los Tribunales de Provincia, será sentenciado y fenecido en la jurisdicción provincial, y sólo podrá apelarse a la Corte Suprema de las sentencias definitivas pronunciadas por los tribunales superiores de provincia en los casos siguientes:

1° Cuando en el pleito se haya puesto en cuestión la validez de un Tratado, de una ley del Congreso, o de una autoridad ejercida en nombre de la Nación y la decisión haya sido contra su validez.

2° Cuando la validez de una ley, decreto o autoridad de Provincia se haya puesto en cuestión bajo la pretensión de ser repugnante a la Constitución Nacional, a los Tratados o leyes del Congreso, y la decisión haya sido en favor de la validez de la ley o autoridad de provincia.

3° Cuando la inteligencia de alguna cláusula de la Constitución, o de un Tratado o ley del Congreso, o una comisión ejercida en nombre de la autoridad nacional haya sido cuestionada y la decisión sea contra la validez del título, derecho; privilegio o exención que se funda en dicha cláusula y sea materia de litigio.

ARTICULO 67 CP.- La prescripción se suspende en los casos de los delitos para cuyo juzgamiento sea necesaria la resolución de cuestiones previas o prejudiciales, que deban ser resueltas en otro juicio. Terminada la causa de la suspensión, la prescripción sigue su curso.

La prescripción también se suspende en los casos de delitos cometidos en el ejercicio de la función pública, para todos los que hubiesen participado, mientras cualquiera de ellos se encuentre desempeñando un cargo público.

El curso de la prescripción de la acción penal correspondiente a los delitos previstos en los artículos 226 y 227 bis, se suspenderá hasta el restablecimiento del orden constitucional.

La prescripción se interrumpe solamente por:

a) La comisión de otro delito;

b) El primer llamado efectuado a una persona, en el marco de un proceso judicial, con el objeto de recibirle declaración indagatoria por el delito investigado;

c) El requerimiento acusatorio de apertura o elevación a juicio, efectuado en la forma que lo establezca la legislación procesal correspondiente;

d) El auto de citación a juicio o acto procesal equivalente; y

e) El dictado de sentencia condenatoria, aunque la misma no se encuentre firme. (Párrafo sustituido por art. 1° de la Ley N° 25.990 B.O. 11/1/2005).

La prescripción corre, se suspende o se interrumpe separadamente para cada delito y para cada uno de sus partícipes, con la excepción prevista en el segundo párrafo de este artículo. (Párrafo sustituido por art. 1° de la Ley N° 25.990 B.O. 11/1/2005).

Art. 62 CPP – Si el juez fuere recusado y no admitiere la causal, siendo manifiestamente inciertos los hechos que se alegan, continuará la investigación aún durante el trámite del incidente; pero si se hiciere lugar a la recusación, los actos serán declarados nulos siempre que lo pidiese el recusante en la primera oportunidad que tomare conocimiento de ellos.

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