Argentina's former President Mauricio Macri testified in federal court over allegations of espionage against him for having spied on the relatives of the dead crew members of the submarine ship that sank four years ago.

Federal Judge Martin Bava had subpoenaed the former president for his role in the alleged spying on the families of the 44 crew members, Aljazeera reported.

The Director of the Federal Intelligence Agency filed a criminal complaint in 2020, claiming to have uncovered evidence showing relatives of the late crew were being spied on during Macri's times as the nation's president.

The relatives claimed that they were followed, recorded, and filmed to be intimidated enough to not file suit in the submarine deaths.

Luis Tagliapietra, a father of one of the deceased crew members, said that a significant number of documents were found addressed to Macri, describing the things that they had said. Tagliapietra said that it was also a transcription of entire sentences that they had said in private.

Macri's defense lawyer, Pablo Lanusse, said outside the court proceedings that the hearing is politically motivated. Lanusse furthered that they just attended a shameful court session that "makes a sham" out of the justice system, as it was absolutely clear from the judge's animosity towards Macri's intention to try him before the elections.

However, the current government of Argentina has denied the accusations that the subpoena was politically motivated. Justice Minister Marin Soria said that it is apparent that Macri is trying to put on a kind of show with his entourage.

Meanwhile, Macri has denied ordering surveillance on the families and relatives, according to a News 24 report.

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Argentina Submarine Ship Wreck

In 2019, an Argentine legislative commission released its findings on the cause of the sinking submarine in the Atlantic Ocean in 2017.

Its findings noted that the water entered the submarine ship's ventilation system and caused a fire in one of its battery tanks, according to an Andolu Agency report.

The captain noted that he was ready to descend 40 meters to assess the damage and reconnect the batteries the next day. However, nothing more was heard from the submarine.

The wreckage was found almost a year later at a depth of Patagonia's Valdes Peninsula.

The legislators had questioned the handling of the crisis by Defense Minister Oscar Aguad and Macri, who showed a "low level of involvement with everything" that was connected to the incident.

The Argentine government has also acknowledged that it lacked the proper technology to salvage that disappeared submarine. Aguad said at the time that the navy does not have submersibles with "modern technology" capable of verifying seabed to extract the ARA San Juan, according to a 2018 The Guardian report.

Macri, at the time, promised a full investigation after the submarine was lost.

ARA San Juan was returning to its base in the coastal city of Mar del Plata when contact was lost after it reported an electrical fault.

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This article is owned by Latin Post.

Written by: Mary Webber

WATCH: Fmr pres Macri comes to testify over alleged spying on relatives of ARA San Juan disaster victims - from Ruptly