Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio this morning ordered the release of businessmen Cristóbal López and Fabián De Sousa from jail, after the duo posted bail.
Sources inside the Comodoro Py courthouse said the owners of Grupo Indalo will likely be released from jail later today, after the federal judge's order was elevated to the authorities of the federal penitentiary service. However, both men still face court proceedings with multiple cases against them.
Bonadio's decision comes just days after Room I of the Federal Chamber ordered both be released, concluding there was no danger of either man fleeing the country or obstructing justice in the case known as the 'cuadernos' ("notebooks") corruption case.
The court had initially ordered their release a fortnight ago on the grounds that their freedom could no longer obstruct the investigation of the corruption and money-laundering charges against them but Bonadio initially blocked the move.
The release of the two businessmen had already been ordered in another case too, one investigating tax evasion to the tune of eight billion pesos (now raised to 17 billion pesos) by their Oil Combustibles energy company.
Bonadio said Friday the López and De Sousa should put up 60 million pesos each as bail. The release of the two Kirchnerite-allied businessmen took time, however, as both currently have assets seized and needed to seek alternative financing, which eventually came from an insurance firm identified as Testimonio Compañía De Seguros SA.
López and De Sousa were being held preventative detention orders in the case, related to alleged irregularities in public works projects. They have been behind bars since December 19, 2017.
Two other defendants in trials involving the 2007-2015 Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration were also granted release last week – Fernando Esteche, leader of the now dormant Quebracho far left grouping, and businessman Gerardo Ferreyra.
steche was released on Thursday in the case investigating the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding with Iran after being remanded in custody for almost two years. His bail was set at 400,000 pesos.
Ferreyra, a leading defendant in the cuadernos case probing widespread public works corruption, was freed last Wednesday.