Former vice-president Amado Boudou has spoken out against his arrest and pre-trial detention, claiming that it was a part of a “persecution of the 12 years of national and popular administration” that was led by Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Boudou spent more than two months in prison after being arrested on November 3, 2017 in relation to embezzlement and money-laundering charges. Once in prison, he was slapped with a second arrest order in connection with accusations concerning irregular travel expenses dating back to his time as Economy minister.
Boudou was released on Friday after an appeals court found that the accusations against him did not merit him being held in custody. His defense team had also argued that he had complied with legal authorities and not interfered with the investigation. Despite his release, though, the courts did not overturn the indictments against Boudou and he remains a defendant.
In a video posted to social media the night of his release, Boudou thanked those who had supported him during the two months that he had been in custody. He went on to say that “there’s nothing to celebrate today. We have to work so that there isn’t a single political prisoner in Argentina. Nobody. Democracy can’t bear what is happening. It can’t bear that people who are detained are considered as good as convicted when they’re actually political prisoners.”
In an interview with Radio 10 over the weekend, the former VP for Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said that he always felt that his arrest had been “part of a political situation that goes beyond the realm of the courts and has purely political explanations.”
Speaking today as he appeared at Comodoro Py to formally sign off on his release, Boudou said that “if someone is being persecuted, it’s Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. She and her family are suffering a monstrous attack, but it’s not about people but rather the 12 years [of the Frente para la Victoria government]”.
“There cannot be political prisoners, it’s now happening to the previous government but it could happen to this one,” said Boudou. Other high-profile Kirchnerites in custody on a variety of charges include former Planning minister Julio de Vido, Legal and Technical Secretary Carlos Zannini, ex Foreign minister (recently granted a release from house arrest to receive medical treatment) Héctor Timerman, social activist Luis D’Elía, former Transport secretary Ricardo Jaime and former Public works secretary José López, among others.