Argentina's top penal court of appeals Tuesday acquitted former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2008-2015) and her aide Axel Kiciloff of all charges in the so-called future dollar case, because there had been no damage to the State, and that economic policy issues are not subject to prosecution.
CFK is currently Vice President and Kiciloff is governor of the province of Buenos Aires, the country's largest province. Under CFK, Kiciloff was Deputy Economy Minister, then Economy Minister and held other influential positions.
Since the transaction under question has been carried out within the scope of the Central Bank's powers, the facts of this process do not meet the corresponding legal requirements, says the court ruling.
The decision was adopted unanimously by Justices Ana María Figueroa, Daniel Petrone and Diego Barroetaveña, who understood there was no crime committed.
The ruling also acquits former Central Bank (BCRA) head Alejandro Vanoli and his current successor Miguel Pesce, among others, who have thus been spared a public trial as the late judge Claudio Bonadio had deemed proper during his investigation stage.
The axis of the ruling composed of two votes (one of the judges Barroetaveña and Petrone and the other of Figueroa) goes through the accounting expert report carried out by order of the Federal Oral Court (TOF) 1 which determined that in the operation of future dollar contracts during at the end of the Fernández de Kirchner government there was no damage to the State coffers and no rule was violated.
This is a test measure that the defences of the former officials had claimed, unsuccessfully, throughout the processing of the file and which also highlighted that the future dollar operation is a legitimate strategic tool whose use will surely be linked to the monetary policy of each country.
“It is not possible to attribute criminal responsibility concerning any result, caused by a legitimate action and following the law. Such a fence, in the present case, seals the fate of the matter under study because the signing of future contracts entered into by the BCRA appeared within the powers and limits imposed by the Organic Charter of that entity, Justices Barroetaveña and Petrone concurred.
Justice Figueroa agreed to the essence of the ruling but went as per her own rationale, underlining the number of times the defendants were denied key issues and then reviewed how the operation was and what the accounting expert report determined. “From the above circumstances, it appears that there was no loss of property for the coffers of the BCRA, as a result of the future dollar contracts arranged by its authorities in the period under study, but instead they returned profits to the national monetary authority, contributing to the results. positive results of their balances,” she said.
As indicated in the expert report, the BCRA was not obliged in an abusive or excessive way through the questioned future dollar contracts, the emerging credits in favour of third parties were justified, being useful and necessary for the management entrusted to the monetary authority, not verifying impairment in the administered interests,” she stressed.
Also acquitted by the ruling were former members of the BCRA board of directors Sebastián Aguilera, Bárbara Domatto Conti, Mariano Beltrani, Juan Miguel Cuattromo, Guillermo Paván, David Jacoby, Cristian Girard, Germán Feldman, Alejandro Formento and Pedro Martín Biscay,.
The defendants had requested the 1st Federal Oral Court (TOF) the dismissal of the case, which was rejected and the oral trial was to ensue. But that decision has now been overruled. CFK had said on that occasion it had all been a manoeuvre started in 2015 which led to Mauricio Macri's being elected president.