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Former Planning Minister Julio De Vido waves as he arrives to the federal justice building where former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner attended court, in Buenos Aires, Argentina April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci


BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Julio De Vido, an ex-minister who served in former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez's government, turned himself in to authorities on Wednesday after he was stripped of immunity from arrest, state news agency Telam and other media reported.

Former planning minister and current lawmaker De Vido arrived with his lawyer at a federal judge's chamber in Buenos Aires, Telam reported. That followed a congressional vote earlier on Wednesday to strip his immunity from arrest as part of a fraud probe, marking an anti-corruption milestone in a country known for impunity.

A three-judge panel ordered his arrest last week, saying De Vido should be jailed to prevent him fleeing or interfering with the case.

He would be the most powerful official from the 2007-2015 Fernandez era to be jailed. Corruption allegations have dogged her government and isolated her politically ahead of a Senate race on Oct. 22.

Fernandez won a seat for the province of Buenos Aires under Argentina's list system on Sunday, but finished second, lessening her chances of staging a comeback for the presidency in 2019.

De Vido is under investigation in a case involving the Patagonian coal mine Rio Turbio, which prosecutors say is underproducing despite receiving multi-million dollar investments from the state. He has denied any wrongdoing.

He was in charge of running energy infrastructure projects under Fernandez, a left-leaning populist who was succeeded by business-friendly President Mauricio Macri in late 2015.

Fernandez, the subject of corruption investigations herself, has acknowledged there was likely corruption during her government but denies personal involvement.

(Reporting by Cassandra Garrison, Nicolas Misculin and Luc Cohen Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

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