If the water in which former Vice President Amado Boudou was already quite hot following his arrest from earlier this month, it started creating its first bubbles yesterday. Alejandro Vandenbroele, accused of being Boudou’s frontman in a series of shady businesses, struck a plea deal with Federal Prosecutor Jorge Di Lello in charge of investigating the highest-profile case against them. The so called Ciccone case, in which the former Vice President was accused of appropriating the Ciccone printing company – the only private company in the country with the ability to issue bank notes and other official documents such as passports – in order to award it state contracts.
However, the information the repentant might provide won’t be used in this case, as law determines these kind of arrangements can only be reached in cases that are not being tried, and the Ciccone case is. Nonetheless, both Boudou and Vandenbroele have also been accused in three separate cases, so his testimony can still get the former Vice President in – possibly more – trouble.
According to La Nación, Vandenbroele had been negotiating the deal with the government for weeks, but Boudou’s arrest helped him make up his mind and accelerated the process. Last week, the alleged frontman met with Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, and it was her who told Di Lello that Vandenbroele was ready to talk.
But even if the repentant effectively provides information that helps convict the other accused, he will not have the charges against him wiped away. If he is found guilty as well, he will get a reduced sentence, as he will be tried as if he had attempted to commit the crime instead of actually having carried it out.
Vandenbroele will testify on Friday before Federal Judge Ariel Lijo, who ordered Boudou’s arrest in the context of the case where he was accused of racketeering. In this case, the alleged frontman was accused of being part of the same criminal group led by the former Vice President.
Vandenbroele is also cleared to provide useful information in another case concerning Boudou, which investigates the legality of a contract between the province of Formosa and The Old Fund – a company that Vandenbroele, at least on paper, represented. The Old Fund is the company that ended up taking over Ciccone. Expect news from the Comodoro Py courthouse on Friday. Vandenbroele is set to drop some bombshells.