Photo via Clarin

Federal Prosecutor Guillermo Marijuán today requested the former Intelligence Agency (AFI) head during the last year of the second Fernández de Kirchner administration, Oscar Parilli, be placed under arrest. Parrilli was indicted this week for allegedly covering up information that may have led to the arrest of national fugitive, Ibar Perez Corradi, in 2008.

Judge Ariel Lijo ruled that there was no reason to arrest him during the course of the investigation, but Marijuán considers this is to be an unwise decision. He believes Parrilli could escape justice and appealed the decision. It will be up to an appeals court to decide whether to have him locked up until the investigation wraps up.

A judge can legally keep a suspect in prison while the charges are being investigated: to do so, officials must prove that there’s either a risk the suspect will flee — as this is the argument in this case — or that he or she will interfere with the investigation by tampering witnesses, for example. This is not an uncommon practice when cases involve powerful political figures, as they have the connections and economic means at their disposal.

Pérez Corradi was arrested in Paraguay last year, after being on the run since 2008. He is still in custody in Argentina, accused of drug-trafficking and money laundering. He was also accused of being the mastermind behind the famous “triple murder of General Rodríguez” — the accusation that caused him to try to go under the radar — but Federal Judge María Servini de Cubría decided there wasn’t enough evidence to indict him for that.

“It’s a paradox. I’m being indicted for covering up for a character who hasn’t been indicted. That is, I’m being indicted for hiding information about someone who is not a crime,” said Parrilli in an interview with Radio Del Plata today, before learning about the prosecutor’s request.

Perez Corradi. Photo via La Capital
Perez Corradi. Photo via La Capital

However, that argument couldn’t prove useful, considering that Corradi was one of the Justice system’s most wanted fugitives for about eight years. Before being found innocent — of those charges, not the strictly drug-related ones — the Justice system wanted to bring him in for questioning, and covering up information that could have helped to get him doesn’t have to do with the investigation’s final outcome.

This accusation prompted the judge’s decision to have Parrilli’s phone wiretapped. As a result of this, different media outlets reported the content of certain leaked phone calls between Parrilli and the former President. One of them has already been proven, the other ones haven’t. Their content, however, didn’t have to do with the investigation, but revealed that Fernández has some tough words for Parrilli — calling him a “pelotudo,” which could be loosely translated to “dumbass,” — and had the intention of framing his predecessor in the agency, Antonio “Jaime” Stiuso for different crimes.

Talking about Stiuso, Kirchner tells Parrilli to “start gathering information on all the cases we framed him for. I mean… not framed him for but accused him of.” Both Kirchner and Parrilli claim that the release of a recording of a controversial telephone conversation between the two of them was illegal and that they are the victims of a political plot to frame them for crimes they didn’t commit and intimidate Macri’s political opposition. Now Parrilli has another thing to worry about.