Former Planning Minister Julio De Vido, who served during the three Kirchner administrations, is already in preemptive prison. Immediately after the Lower House voted in favor of stripping him of his parliamentary immunity yesterday, Federal Judge Luis Rodríguez – one of the two magistrates who had formally requested the deputies to make this decision, along with Claudio Bonadio – ordered his arrest and instructed Border Patrol forces to take him in.
Dozens of officers in full gear showed up at his apartment in the neighborhood of Palermo, but by the time they got there, De Vido was already on his way to the Comodoro Py courthouse to turn himself in. Amid a massive security operation, he largely managed to avoid the press that was waiting for him.
The former minister’s lawyer, Maximiliano Rusconi, said that his client wanted to preserve “his image of a serious man” during the detention and told him ‘let’s go now,” when he learned about the arrest order. Rusconi then criticized De Vido’s peers in the Lower House, arguing they “stopped abiding by the rule of law.” “They installed the notion that a judge only needs to arbitrarily say that an individual can interfere with an investigation to detain him,” he added.
Infobae was the only outlet that could get a statement out of De Vido yesterday. Before entering the courthouse, he told a journalist to “send champagne to Dr. [Elisa] Carrió on his behalf.” He was making reference to the way the National Deputy and co-founder of Cambiemos celebrated when she found out a judge ordered he be arrested for the first time. “It’s like caviar, like champagne,” Carrió said last tuesday in a pre-election rally held by Cambiemos on Tuesday.
— infobae (@infobae) October 25, 2017
A few minutes later, Carrió tweeted her answer: “Don’t send me any [champagne], I don’t drink alcohol,” she said.
Que no me manden, porque no tomo alcohol. pic.twitter.com/TDPQEKRrIf
— Elisa Lilita Carrió (@elisacarrio) October 25, 2017
Carrió, who accused De Vido of corruption during practically his entire tenure in the Kirchner administrations, went to TV show A Dos Voces yesterday night to analyze the events. And continue celebrating, obviously. The national deputy affirmed that De Vido was “the great bribe taker” of the Kirchner administration and that “he knows all about Kirchnerite corruption.”
Consulted about the possibility of this leading to the arrest of former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Carrió said it can’t be ruled out: “if De Vido was taken down…and if he’s not released, if this is not just a front that will not last…we have to follow the investigations closely,” she said.
“It all came rushing back to me. It’s been 12 years of fighting. I couldn’t believe it. He even wanted to put me in prison. It’s a gift from god,” she added, when talking about the way she felt when learning the news.
At that time, De Vido was already undergoing medical checks in the Ezeiza prison hospital, a mandatory step for inmates who suffer from an illness – he’s got diabetes. The checks are set to continue today. Once they are done, the Federal Penitentiary Service will decide whether to keep him in Ezeiza or send him to another prison, located in the district of Marcos Paz, in the Buenos Aires Province. However, De Vido intends to request to be granted house arrest, using his illness as argument.
According to Clarín, De Vido spent the night in an individual room: “there was nothing unusual. He accepted the dinner he was offered, although he ate very little. He only took his insuline with him. He woke up early and began undergoing the medical checks,” the outlet informed. De Vido’s fate is not the brightest at the moment.