Argentina's ex president Cristina Fernandez has been ordered to court next Tuesday by federal magistrate Claudio Bonadio, and warned that should she not abide she will be taken by public force to comply with the registry of finger prints and undergo a socio-environment report. The decision refers to the dollar futures case for which the ex president has been indicted.
Cristina Fernandez was supposed to turn up at Bonadío's court in Buenos Aires this Friday, but instead showed up at the Rio Gallegos court house requesting that she be summoned in the city where she now lives.
Bonadío's new summons was extended to the head of Federal Police, Nestor Roncaglia so that the branch in Rio Gallegos notifies Cristina Fernandez she must attend the Buenos Aires court, next Tuesday, 29 November, before 13:00 hours. If not she will be detained and taken to the Buenos Aires City court house.
In her Friday presentation in Rio Gallegos, Cristina Fernandez defense requested the judge to order law enforcement officers to take her finger prints and proceed with the socio-environment report at her home, Mascarello 441, in the Patagonian city.
Although the local magistrate does not have jurisdiction in the case unless specifically requested by the higher court in Buenos Aires, Cristina Fernandez not only presented herself at court but also at Federal Police headquarters to express her willingness to collaborate.
On Friday, in Buenos Aires, all was ready at Bonadío's court to receive the ex president, including a tight security perimeter, but the lady did not turn up and earlier in the morning her defense counsel Carlos Berardi presented a complaint, requesting the postponement of the summons and strongly criticizing the magistrate at the immediate higher level, a federal appeals court.
Berardi said magistrate Bonadío was abusing his authority and acting with an arbitrary capricious conduct, and warned that if the former president was arrested, he would be acting in violation of his client's freedom and committing a crime.
The charges date back to dollar futures contracts made under the auspices of the Central Bank in 2015. The investigation revolves around the sale of dollar futures worth US$17 billion payable through June 30, 2016. Those contracts, it was alleged, were settled with a dollar-peso exchange rate that significantly overvalued the peso in comparison to market expectations, particularly if Mauricio Macri won the ongoing presidential elections.
Following Macri's victory who also let the US dollar float freely, the Argentine peso in comparison to the greenback depreciated from 9.8 pesos to 13.3 pesos overnight. That devaluation had a direct correlation on the futures contracts, as the rate reached a low of 15.8 pesos to the US dollar in the first few days of March and has since slowly appreciated.
Although Cristina Fernandez refused to travel to Buenos Aires, media reports indicate the former president is preparing to launch a new political movement next 7 December under the name of Kirchnerite Federal Current (CFK in Spanish) with the purpose of campaigning for the midterm elections of next year and the presidential contest in 2019.
Cristina Fernandez has been particularly critical of Macri's economic policies and adjustments which have triggered recession, inflation and loss of jobs.