Colombia’s former agriculture minister was released on bail Friday. According to a judge, there was not enough evidence indicating the minister had tried to obstruct justice by contacting witnesses.
Former Minister Andres Felipe Arias is accused of embezzling $25 million through the Agro Ingreso Seguro (AIS), a government program charged with providing subsidies to struggling farmers that ended up funneling money to wealthy families, a former Miss Colombia and drug traffickers.
Arias was refused bail in 2011 because according to that judge, the former minister had intended to influence witnesses while knowing he would be charged.
Prosecutors did not appeal the decision, meaning the former minister is allowed to stay out of prison unless convicted of the charges.