Former Argentine president Cristina Fernandez was prosecuted on Friday for fraudulent administration in detriment of the Argentine state in the so called “dollar futures' ”case, including the seizure of 15 million Pesos in assets equivalent to a million dollars.
The Buenos Aires Federal Chamber II also confirmed the prosecution and similar seizure of former Economy minister Axel Kicillof, ex Argentine central bank chairman Alejandro Vanoli as well as the other twelve members of the board at the time of the case.
With this latest ruling Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio can consider the investigation concluded and can move on to the next step which is an oral trial of the alleged culprits. However this latest decision can be appealed before the Federal Cassation Chamber, which is the last resort in Argentine penal cases.
According to the resolution published by the Judicial Information Center, CIJ, there is enough evidence to sustain that in effect Fernandez and Kicillof were most central in the decision to proceed to defraud the assets of the Central Bank.
Federal Judge claims that when Cristina Fernandez was president she was responsible for bolstering the Central bank into selling dollars in the futures market at a low price, and thus caused with that operation strong losses to the bank.
The defense of the ex president argued that those who purchased dollars in the futures market were business people, most of which are today members of the government of president Mauricio Macri, and all of them were authorized by Federal Judge Bonadío to cash those operations.
The dollar futures market is a short term investment in the US currency. If the rate Dollar/Peso drops the Central bank gains, but in the opposite situation winners are the investors. And in effect when Macri took office he let the exchange rate float freely which resulted in a 32% devaluation of the Argentine peso against the US dollar.
Last May, Bonadío decided the prosecution of the ex president but her defense rejected the claim arguing that the Central bank is totally independent from the control of the Executive branch.
Both Kirchner followers and the ex president have repeatedly rejected the Macri administration's accusations, claiming the end objective in supporting the investigation and trial was to have Cristina Fernandez sent to jail, in a clear demonstration of political persecution.
The Federal chamber in its ruling said that both sides, accusers and defendants, agree in one point and that is that there was a colossal fraud with public monies, and the dissidence rests in who is responsible for the action which is reciprocally attributed.