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Fraudulent Fertilisation

Episode 66

Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli
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“Yes, thank you,” said Burán, and explained, “Doctor Bisson, Doctor Fernández, you know me professionally, I’ve had a career of almost twenty-seven years in this forum. Unfortunately, today it is my turn to be personally involved. I haven’t maintained a line of conduct for that long just to throw it all overboard. I’ll be very brief in my summing up. I’ll save the details for when the time comes to answer the lawsuit. In this way, I safeguard my right to defend myself adequately. But I will reveal the substance of my thoughts, telling the truth: never, understand it well, never, did I have sexual relations with Ms Juana Artigas. This makes clear a first point, I had no will to engender a child, neither did I behave in such a way which could logically produce such a result.”

“Right!” interrupted Allegri, “so you’ll agree to subject yourself to biological tests, won’t you? We’ll see who’s lying!”

“Excuse me, your honour,” said Rocío, “our colleague is interrupting Doctor Burán. This is not only disrespectful, it also breaks the rules your honour laid out. If he obliged us to speak, don’t we have the right to stop him limiting our speech?”

“That’s correct,” said Doctor Bisson. “I ask you, Doctor Allegri, to abstain from interfering in the statement by the defence, is that clear?”

“Yes. Sorry, your honour,” answered Allegri.

“Go on, Doctor Burán,” ordered the magistrate.

“Thank you, doctor... I was saying that I never had sexual relations with Ms Artigas, but the case is complex and unusual. I’m going to spell it out: I think she was artificially inseminated with my semen. My sperm was obtained fraudulently by Ms Artigas, with the collaboration of an accomplice.”

After this statement, everyone fell silent, nobody knew what to say... Allegri reacted violently, shouting, “That’s below the belt! I can’t allow him to say that! He’s offending the lady! I ask the court for sanctions!”

“We are aware of the seriousness of Doctor Burán’s statements,” Rocío hurried to say, “we know we are attributing a crime to the plaintiff and that it is highly improbable that we can prove it. But my party’s obligation is to be faithful to the truth, even more so in a case like the one with which we are dealing. You honour will understand that Doctor Burán doesn’t have to take on the obligations of a father when he has not acted voluntarily in the procreation of Ms Artigas’s son. Even if a biological nexus existed, there would be no voluntary act: he did not act with discernment, or intention, or liberty.”

Allegri interrupted Rocío angrily. “It’s obvious what Burán’s aim is! He wants to avoid responsibility for the baby! It’s an absurd position, like something from a science fiction movie. I state that he will have to prove each of the facts he refers to. It shouldn’t be allowed that one of the parties speaks so freely about such delicate matters. He’s accusing my client of a very serious crime. I shall bring a lawsuit against Doctor Burán for slander.

The icapacity advisor supported Allegri’s words, saying, “Look, Doctor Burán, unless you can prove what you say, we’ll stick to current evidence. According to you, it’s very probable that there’s a biological nexus with the child, is that true?”

“It is,” said Roberto.

Doctor Bisson interfered. “In that case you will understand... If it is proved that the child is genetically yours, the law will consider you the father.”

“And following the trust’s criteria, whether or not there is will,” added Doctor Fernández.

She was giving an advance glimpse of her opinion, as always, favourable to the child.

“Without getting into such a complicated field,” said the judge, “tell me, Doctor Bareilles, are you planning to stick to this approach?”

“Do you see, your honour?!” said Allegri raising his voice, “Do you understand that our position is correct? He doesn’t want to maintain the baby or acknowledge him; he’s trying to avoid his obligations.”

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Rocío. “On the contrary, we want to clearly define the remits. We want to check whether our client is biologically the father of the child or not. If it’s shown that he is, Doctor Burán will expressly assume all the obligations derived from paternity. He will pay a maintenance allowance, he will attend to the minor, bring him up, treat him like a son. The latter would involve visiting him, taking part in his education. With this posture we show the falsehood of the opposing party’s statements.”

Allegri went pale; unforeseeably, Burán had become the good guy. He didn’t know what to say...”

Rocío spoke again.

“Your honour, madam consultant, we want these acts to show that Doctor Burán does not intend to disown the child on a whim. He knows he has been the victim of a criminal manoeuvre which is difficult to prove... My client has given prevalence to his condition of ‘possible’ father. As such, his priority is the minor’s interests. Thus, there will be no collision points with Doctor Fernández. It’s fundamental that our idea be understood, because our conduct will be interpreted from this starting point.”

The judge asked, “What is your client specifically pursuing?”

“To protect his son,” answered Rocío, “if it really is his son. My mandator cannot accept that the child remain in custody of his mother. She would cause him irreparable damage; she has carried out these machinations to extract money from my client, she didn’t care about her son. As you will see, your honour, she is capable of anything.”

Allegri thundered, “If this goes on, we’ll leave the courtroom! I cannot tolerate it!”

Translation: Peter Miller (© 2002)
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Copyright ©Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli, 1990
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Date of publicationOctober 2002
Collection RSSGlobal Fiction
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