A judge in Argentina has ruled that the former president, Cristina Fernandez should stand trial on charges of financial mismanagement. Fernandez is accused of fraudulently administering state funds in 2015. The former economy minister, Axel Kiciloff, and the former head of the central bank have also been charged.
Cristina Fernandez, who governed from 2007 to 2015, said the case was politically motivated. The former president already faces unrelated investigations into alleged corruption.
Judge Claudio Bonadio said a total of 15 people would go in trial in connection with the case. Cristina Fernandez is accused of ordering the central bank to sell dollars on the futures market at artificially low prices ahead of a widely expected devaluation of the Argentine peso.
Bonadio says that a scheme to keep the Argentine peso inflated by selling dollars below market value wouldn't have been possible without Fernandez's approval.
He says that this cost the state about US$4.9 billion at the current exchange rate, allowing buyers to make big profits on the transactions. The sales also led to a sharp drop in Central Bank reserves.
The former leader is also being investigated over alleged corruption but the dollar futures case would be the first to reach the trial phase.
Cristina Fernandez won the presidential election in 2007, succeeding her husband, Nestor Kirchner, in the top office. In 2011 she was re-elected by a landslide.
Unable under Argentine law to stand for a third consecutive term, she backed Daniel Scioli in the 2015 election campaign. But voters chose the conservative mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, instead.
Cristina Fernandez says she has been the target of political persecution since Mr. Macri came to power.