In October 2017, Amado Boudou— Argentina’s former Economy Minister and Vice President from 2011 to 2015—stood trial on charges of bribery and corruption. While the trial is still unresolved, on Friday, Argentina’s Anti Corruption Office ruled against him in its investigation as to whether or not he was entitled to a pension.
The 55 year-old, who worked under President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, is accused of utilizing shell companies, middlemen, and his position in power to purchase the Ciccone printing company and later profit from granting it exclusive State contracts to print the Argentine peso. Official charges against Bodou, which would each entail up to six years in prison, include: “abuse of authority, violation of the duties of a public official, incompatible negotiations for a public official, and the embezzlement of public funds.”
In response to the accusations, Boudou denied any wrongdoing, painting the case as a politically motivated smear campaign against him and the Kirchner administration.
Initially, Boudou awaited his trial behind bars after Federal Judge Ariel Lijo issued an order for a pre-trial arrest, stating that there was “enough evidence to believe he profited in an unjustified manner” during his vice presidency, and stating that—if allowed to remain free—he was likely to try to use his influence and ill-gotten wealth to shift the outcome of the trial. However, he was released a few weeks later after an appeals court determined that his detention was ultimately unnecessary.
Others involved in the trial include the owner of the printing company, Nicolás Ciccone, Boudou’s close aide, Guido Forcieri, Boudou’s business partner, José María Núñez Carmona and Alejandro Vandenbroele, accused of being Boudou’s front-man in negotiating the Cicone deal.
While the ruling of the trial was supposed be announced this month, last minute appeal made by Boudou’s lawyers postponed the final outcome of the case. The final arguments will be moved to August; the final sentencing date is as of now unclear.
However, one matter has been resolved today: the Anti Corruption Office’s investigation requested by the government’s decentralized social insurance agency (ANSeS) into whether Boudou should be entitled to his vice presidential pension has officially ruled against the former official.
According to Law 24.018, presidents and vice presidents are entitled to a monthly allowance for life. Almost immediately upon leaving office in December 2015, the former vice president began requesting his pension from ANSeS. In response, the agency asked the OA to investigate Boudou, and make a ruling on whether or not the he should be granted the privilege.
Representatives from ANSeS stated: “We understand that if convicted, the applicant should be excluded from the benefits, under the terms of Article 29 of the aforementioned law [24.018].”
Article 29 states: “Excluded from the pension benefits are those who have undergone judicial trials for for poor conduct…the allocation, as a reward, is legally incompatible with dishonorable conduct.”
On July 20th, OA concluded their investigation and ruled against Boudou, stating that there was more than enough evidence of corruption and profiteering by the former VP to exclude any possibility of reasonable doubt of his innocence. On Friday, they announced: “the facts that support the accusations against the defendant imply the impossibility of accessing the benefits that they claim.”