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Argentina Frees Ex-Presidential Bodyguard from Jail

August 16, 1991

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ A former state intelligence agent jailed for armed assault in 1987 was released Thursday over the objections of the interior minister, who said, ″The liberty of this person offends Argentine morality.″

The convict, Raul Guglielminetti, 48, also had served as a bodyguard in the early 1980s for military President Reynaldo Bignone and later for civilian President Raul Alfonsin.

Human rights groups said Guglielminetti was an interrogator at a secret detention center in western Neuquen province during the 1976-83 military dictatorship’s brutal crackdown on leftist subversion. He was accused, but not convicted, of taking part in a kidnap ring that held executives for ransom.

Judge Rodolfo Madariaga ruled Wednesday night that Guglielminetti should be released after serving the minimum 54 months of a six-year sentence. But he was held until Thursday at the request of the Interior Ministry, which told police to make sure no other charge was pending.

″The gravity of the accusations against this person make one presume that ... (armed assault) should not be the only charge against him,″ Interior Minister Jose Luis Manzano said.

″I would like to know what people think when they learn that Guglielminetti is again walking the streets.″

Guglielminetti was convicted of armed assault and illegal possession of a weapon.

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