A Federal Appeals Court today confirmed former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s indictment in the future dollars case for “alleged improper management detrimental to the public administration.” The court also confirmed lower court Judge Claudio Bonadio’s decision to seize Fernández’s assets for AR$15 million until a final decision is made.
What’s the former president being accused of?
Future dollars commit the Argentine Central Bank (BCRA) to sell dollars at a fixed rate in Argentine pesos at some date in the future. The question now is whether at the end of Fernández de Kirchner’s administration, the Central Bank old a lot of future dollars at an artificially low rate. Prosecutors allege the monetary authority sold US$10 billion worth of future dollar contracts, when they were actually worth US$15 billion.
Alejandro Vanoli, who was the Central Bank president when the allegedly unlawful operations were conducted, is accused of purposefully selling the future dollars at a low price at the end of last year when both presidential candidates had made it clear they would devalue the local currency.
According to the investigation Fernández, as well as then Economy Minister Axel Kiciloff and several other government officials knowingly attempted to sabotage current President Mauricio Macri’s administration, since they knew Macri intended to sharply devalue the peso by lifting currency controls once he took office. In his ruling, Bonadio states that the BCRA couldn’t have acted without the Executive’s knowledge and consent, thereby incriminating Cristina.
Now that this part of the case is over, Bonadio will send the collected evidence to Prosecutor Jorge Di Lello, who will decide whether to send the case to trial.
It seems almost a done deal that Di Lello would request that the case be sent to trial. But there are reasons why he may change his mind:
- There could be new evidence that proves the former President was innocent in the first place
- He could realize there’s not enough evidence to go to trial
- He could analyze the evidence and find that there’s no grounds for suspicion
In order to move a case forward, he has to believe the evidence can prove the following:
- That Fernández actually did what she is accused of
- That what she did had legal consequences
If those two things are true then the case — and therefore Fernández, for the first time — will go to trial.