Cristóbal López

A Federal Appeals Court ruled today that media tycoon Cristóbal López, currently being held in pre-trial arrest since December last year as a result of a case in which he stands accused of defrauding the state, be released today, as it considered his freedom does not jeopardize the investigation. His former business partner Fabián De Sousa will also be released in the next few hours.

However, both of them are still indicted for owing the State over AR $8 billion in taxes from fuel purchases taking place at the gas stations they owned – the company was named Oil. Former AFIP tax collection agency head Ricardo Echegaray has also been indicted in the case, as Federal Judge Julián Ercolini believes there is enough evidence to determine that he deliberately omitted auditing the company over its unpaid taxes.

Along with Lázaro Báez, López is one of the most high-profile business people linked to corruption during the former Kirchner administration. In fact, he has been indicted in the so-called “Los Sauces” case, where both he and Báez are suspected of directing kickbacks obtained through fraudulent public works contracts to the Kirchner family through hotel stays.