A federal appeals court has dropped charges issued against former vice-president Amado Boudou for allegedly receiving illegal gifts while in office.
The charges were related to complimentary helicopter and plane rides that the former official had taken during a visit to the city of Necochea in December 2011. As the transport was not billed for, the prosecution alleged that it qualifies as an unlawful gift for the then vice president to accept.
In requesting the indictment, prosecutor Carlos Rivolo stated that is was “incomprehensible” that Boudou would have used transportation provided by the two private companies while state aircraft was available.
However, the appeals court ruled that it was impossible to determine that the flight for Boudou was a gift specific to the ex-vice president given that the companies routinely offered complimentary journeys, including for public officials, and that there were several other as yet unknown passengers on the same flight.
It concluded that evidence of unpaid flights in a private helicopter were not sufficient to prove a criminal act.
The former vice president’s career has been subject to a number of accusations of corruption and misuse of public funds. Most recently, Boudou was indicted for bribery in June 2014 in relation to a contract purchasing scandal with the printing company, Ciccone Calcografica, which is being investigated in the court of Federal Judge Ariel Lijo.