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Fraudulent Fertilisation

Episode 67

Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli
Smaller text sizeDefault text sizeBigger text size Add to my bookshelf epub mobi Permalink Ebook MapMar del Plata, Bosque Peralta Ramos

Doctor Bisson and the consultant kept quiet: Roberto’s version had made an impact. The revelation had been so spectacular that their intuition told them it contained some truth. The judge spoke.

“Doctor Allegri, I understand your irritation, but I think you should remain calm. We are in a preliminary hearing, they are simply statements by the parties. The court will only treat facts that are duly proven as the truth. Calm down, please...”

Allegri felt obliged to speak. “They’re lying! It’s ridiculous what they’re saying...!”

Meanwhile, Juanita pretended to sob like a weak woman, incapable of bearing such a strong dialogue.

Allegri insisted, “I wish to make clear, Doctor Bisson, that without proof that a crime took place, it is impossible to accept the fantastic version offered by the opposing party. The court will understand that, until there is a sentence from a penal court, no one can be classified a criminal. Nevertheless, this is what Burán is so graciously attempting. Taking equal licence, I could say he is corrupt, or a murderer. I would have the same right, I think the court should sanction him...”

“I don’t share your thesis,” said the judge. “Although I find Doctor Burán’s judgements surprising and serious, I do not wish to apply sanctions, not yet. If it becomes apparent he’s lying, I shall punish his conduct severely. Is that clear, everyone?”

“Our plan is very simple,” said Rocío, “our posture shows that if the biological nexus exists, we will assume all responsibility. In this way, we’re showing that our interest lies in preventing Juana Artigas from having custody or possession of her child. Beyond financial matters, we don’t want the child to come to any harm.”

“False!” shouted Allegri, “I’ve never heard such hypocrisy! I can’t allow them to go on offending my client! I ask the court to place limits on the defendant, what she says is absurd. I know why they’re acting like that! Burán knows the biological tests will show his paternity. It would be useless to deny it now... There’s no doubt, he knows he’s the father. With this approach, they’re trying to confuse the court and the wardship ministry to discredit my mandator. It’s clear that they think this will give them some kind of advantage in the trial; then they’ll request a reduction of the maintenance allowance, or something similar, I’m sure. I beg the court not to continue the hearing under these circumstances, there’s no way a conciliation can be attempted like this.”

That’s not true,” said Rocío, “on the contrary, I don’t know why our distinguished colleague is so angry, what more can he ask for? We’re telling him that Doctor Burán will accept the responsibilities of a father, if the filial nexus is proven. What’s so offensive about that?”

“You’re accusing my client of being a fraudster! That’s what’s so offensive! Isn’t that enough?” exclaimed the furious Allegri.

“Calm down, doctor,” continued Rocío, “it’s no use expressing yourself so violently... You have the legal methods you consider appropriate within reach, if you think our action can be sanctioned. There’s no way we can stop telling the truth, what’s happening is too serious. We’re prepared to accept the existing probative difficulties... But the most important thing is that Doctor Burán is renouncing his right to disown a son he didn’t want to conceive, given that he in no way had relations with Ms Artigas. Bear in mind that, even so, he is prepared to assume the condition of father, as long as he really is the father.”

Allegri shouted, “Of course he is! That’s why you invented this fable! The idea of fraud is worthy of a novel, nobody in their right mind would believe it.”

“Do you think so?” asked Rocío. “Notwithstanding, it’s not like that: the possibility we’re putting forward is quite feasible.”

The consultant asked, “But what is your full version? What you’ve said isn’t enough...”

“Neither is what they’ll say,” said Allegri scornfully.

Doctor Rocío Bareilles, taking no notice of Allegri’s comment, answered the consultant.

“Doctor Fernández, I ask you to understand that we can’t say everything. We want to defend ourselves correctly when answering the lawsuit; at that time we will outwardly express the whole situation.”

“Well in that case, this hearing makes no sense,” said Allegri, “why go on?”

“You’re right,” said the judge, “I think we ought to wait for the medical tests to be carried out.”

“I wanted to request something regarding that,” said Rocío. “Ms Artigas claims that my client is the father of her son, right?”

“Correct,” answered Allegri.

“Well, Doctor Burán is also interested in checking whether there really is a biological nexus. We don’t want to wait for a judicial report to be carried out, it would take ages. We can count on the collaboration of a scientist who is recognised in the Republic of Argentina and abroad, Doctor Saúl Zimbrein. We request that the plaintiff provide genetic material from herself and the child to carry out the biological tests privately. We would acknowledge filiation if the result is positive... If it is negative, we accept in advance that it would not be granted any probative value. In this way we pursue only a rapid outcome, in a trustworthy manner on our part. Ms Artigas will not, I think, object, because this test can do her no harm. If the result is in her favour, it’ll save her time and effort. But if it disproves the paternity, we accept that it has no value. What more could the plaintiff ask for?”

Allegri said, “I don’t know, I don’t understand this eagerness to do a private report, I fear they’re hiding something...”

“No, doctor,” said Rocío, “we’re almost convinced that the child is really Doctor Burán’s son. We think the fraud took place, without a doubt, but we want to make absolutely sure. If the child were someone else’s, it goes without saying that our approach would be different. Is that clear?”

Allegri exchanged a few words with Juanita, who was still playing the role of victim. Then he said, “All right, we accept... We’ll give you the genetic material whenever you like.”

Rocío said, “Our expert is coming to Mar del Plata in three days to collect it: we want him to certify its origin himself.”

“Good,” said Doctor Bisson, “I think we’ve made quite a bit of progress. I’m going to declare the hearing closed, I don’t think it makes any sense to continue. The parties’ positions are clear, the main thing is that the interests of the minor are safeguarded. We will prepare the act immediately. Please wait outside, I’ll call you in to sign in about thirty minutes. Excuse the delay, I want to write it personally. It’s been a pleasure, goodbye.”

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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