Two high-profile former officials with the Kirchner administrations, Julio De Video and Roberto Barratta were released from jail on Friday night on the instructions of the courts.
De Vido, former federal planning minister in both the Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administrations accused of multiple counts of corruption, was released from prison after 780 days behind bars.
He returned to his farm in Puerto Panal, Zárate, after being held on pre-trial detention for charges related to the famed "Cuadernos" scandal. He will remain under house arrest, however, for separate charges related to the alleged diversion of funds related to a public works project, instructed by Judge Luis Rodríguez and prosecutor Carlos Stornelli.
The release order came after the Federal Oral Tribunal 7, which is in charge of the Cuadernos case. The same benefit was given to Roberto Baratta, De Vido's former right-hand man and number two at the ministry.
Both were instructed to wear ankle-monitoring bracelets.
The Federal Appeals Court, which is the highest tribunal in the country, made the announcement late Friday night, after many newspapers had gone to print. The Federal Oral Tribunal was then ordered to revise its decision against moderating the sentence of De Vido and Baratta, and to take account for the new Procedural Penal Code that went into affect recently.
De Vido is almost 70-years-old. He has filed requests for his freedom for months.
"This week, my lawyers will look for a way to remove my house arrest to respect the decision of the appeals court," De Vido said in an interview with A24 shortly after hearing the decision of the Tribunal.
The former Kirchnerite official's prison stretch started on October 25, 2017. At the time, he was facing trial on allegations related to the Once crash the tragic railway accident in 2012 that killed 52 people. He was convicted for that in 2018 and sentenced 5 years and 8 months in prison for fraudulent administration. While he serves that sentence, he's also being tried in multiple public works cases.
Baratta, one of De Vido's most trusted advisors, was also released from prison Friday, and he's not facing any other pre-trial detention orders. His prison time started August 1, 2018.