Former Argentine vice-president Amado Boudou was released from prison Tuesday under bail while he appeals a corruption conviction.
The decision comes just four months after Boudou was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison for bribery and conducting business incompatible with public office.
A criminal court ordered his release on the grounds that the sentence is not firm since it is still being appealed.
"Unfortunately, this is a step backward", Justice Minister Germán Garavano said Tuesday, "but it is a Judiciary decision that the government respects".
"It is a decision I do share personally. When one is sentenced, when one loses his or his innocence, the sentence means you go to jail", he told Radio La Red.
"This scenario is contemplated in the new Procedural Code, which passed the Lower House last week".
Boudou was accused of using shell companies and secret middlemen to gain control of a company that was given contracts to print Argentine currency as well as material for President Cristina Fernandez's election campaign. He was the first sitting Argentine vice president to face such charges.
Boudou also served as economy minister during Fernandez's 2007-2015 administration.
The former official will be required to wear a tracking device and report to police every two weeks while the appeals process runs its course, the court determined.