Last 5 crew members of detained Venezuelan plane leave Argentina

The last five crew members of a Venezuelan airplane detained in Argentina since June departed the country Tuesday.

Two Venezuelans and three Iranians left Argentina after a federal judge ruled there was a lack of evidence to prosecute.

The crew made up of Gholamreza Ghasemi, Abdolbaset Mohammadi, Saeid Valizadeh, Víctor Manuel Perez and Mario Arraga Urdaneta boarded a Bolivian airline flight, according to the Infobae newspaper.

Federal judge Federico Villena ruled last Friday that there was not sufficient evidence to prosecute any of the crew for alleged terror links after the Delegation of Argentine Israelite Associations (DAIA) filed a complaint.

The crew was accused of using the airline, Emtrasur, a subsidiary of Conviasa, to allegedly divert funds to finance terrorism, according to Infobae.

But the ruling by Villena came after a deadline imposed by the Federal Court of Appeals of La Plata last month.

In reaching his verdict, Villena described "a lack of merit" to the accusations against crew members and also lifted the detention of the Emtrasur airplane.

But at the request of US authorities, the airplane will remain in Argentina.

Argentina authorized last month the departure of 12 of 19 crew members of the detained Venezuelan plane after it was seized in June at the request of the US as its sale violated sanctions against Iran.

Some reports alleged that the pilot, Ghasemi, had ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) while others alleged some of the Iranians on board had links to the Quds Force, part of the IRGC.

The Boeing 747 cargo plane arrived in Argentina from Mexico with a shipment of auto parts after unsuccessfully attempting to enter Uruguay.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused the US in August of trying "to steal from us a gigantic, modern cargo airplane."

Source: Anadolu Agency