An Argentinian judge is in serious trouble after video footage appears to show her kissing a man who her court had previously sentenced to life in prison.
In December 2021, Cristian ‘Mai’ Bustos was convicted of the 2008 killing of police officer Leandro ‘Tito’ Roberts in Corcovado.
But Bustos appears to have forged a relationship with Comodoro Rivadavia Judge Mariel Suárez.
A week after Bustos was sentenced, Suárez visited him in prison and shared an intimate moment with him which was caught on camera.
An Argentinian judge has been caught on prison CCTV kissing a convicted cop-killer who she tried to save from a life sentence.
Mariel Suarez, a judge in southern Chubut province, was filmed kissing Cristian ‘Mai’ Bustos in jail near the city of Trelew on the afternoon of Dec 29. pic.twitter.com/YVvAzJzf42
— MassiVeMaC (@SchengenStory) January 4, 2022
Now she is being investigated and could face disciplinary action for the encounter.
Judge Mariel Suárez had tried to get him a lighter sentence.
Suárez was one of three magistrates leading the court in the sentencing of the “highly dangerous” killer.
However, reports state she had disagreed with her colleagues about Bustos’s sentence and tried to get a lesser penalty for the man.
Suárez denies that her role had been impacted by the encounter and states that she “fulfilled my role as a judge well.”
She claims she is planning to write a book about Cristian Bustos.
“I have no sentimental relationship with this person, I have no personal ties. I am making a book with this person because of his story and it is the first one I am going to write,” the judge explained.
“I want to do a piece of investigative journalism. He was very happy with the project because after many years he could tell what happened,” she said.
Suárez also says this was a chance encounter and she had not seen him other than at the sentencing.
“I bumped into him, told him I was going to arrange an interview with him and told him I was going to write a book. He told me personal things and showed me his tattoos,” she said.
The Superior Court released a statement in response to the video.
“As a result of a formal communication addressed to the ministers in court, a meeting requested by a criminal judge of the district of Comodoro Rivadavia and an inmate housed in said penitentiary center,” it said.
“From the information communicated by the IPP, it appears that the judge has engaged in inappropriate conduct for a magistrate.”
The statement explains that an investigation will be carried out to determine the details of the encounter caught on camera.
The investigation will determine whether there had been any “violations of the Public Ethics Law and/or the General Internal Regulations of the Judiciary.”
It remains to be seen what action, if any, will be taken against the judge or the prisoner.