Amado Boudou, vice president and political pariah due to an uncanny ability to land serious corruption charges while in office, is one step away from facing public trial, an event that is likely to draw as many viewers as a regular Bailando Por un Sueño episode.
On Thursday, the Federal Court of Appeals unanimously rejected the vice president’s lawyers’ final bid to have his charges dismissed and confirmed Boudou’s indictment for the Ciccone printing company case.
According to his prosecutors, back in 2010 when he was Economy Minister, Boudou instructed the national tax collecting agency (AFIP) to call a special moratorium on the company to finance its debt, since it was going through financial trouble. Later, he allegedly bought Ciccone through a phantom company named “The Old Fund,” owned by his frontman Alejandro Vandenbroele, in order to assign it government contracts.
Boudou is facing charges for “passive bribery” and “incompatible negotiations with a public official.” This latest appeal was the last legal resource to get him off the hook since the Court of Appeals is the most powerful judicial body in the country.
The resolution also confirmed the indictments of José María Nuñez Carmona, Nicolás Ciccone, Alejandro Vandenbroele, Guido Forcieri and Rafael Resnick Brenner, all allegedly involved in the scheme as well. The resolution also upheld a $200,000 seizure of all of the accused’s assets.
Right now, Lijo has to transfer the case to Federal Prosecutor Jorge Di Lello and hear out the defense attorneys one last time before closing the case and sending it to sorteo, a system in which cases are randomly assigned to courts. I just hope the draw is as fun as I imagine it, with an old, bewigged judge spinning a judicial wheel of fortune and the indicted reacting accordingly.
La Nación claims the trial could begin before the end of the year. If it takes place before Dec. 10, Boudou will become the first acting vice president in history to face trial while in office, since Argentine politicians usually manage to hold off getting prosecuted for corruption charges until their terms end. Once the Kirchnerite’s poster boy, Boudou became a political outcast when the scandal exploded and disappeared from public eyesight faster than a first tray of bife de chorizo at a Sunday asado.
Excluded from every Victory Front (FpV) ballot, Boudou has no chance of being granted impunity (which he would have received by holding public office) after this year’s election, and could even do some jail time If found guilty on one of the two charges he’s facing. Both charges could sentence him to up to six years in prison and receive a life ban on holding public office.
Looks like you’re on your own, Amado.