Former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner returned to the Comodoro Py Courthouse today to be notified her assets had been seized for AR $15 million in the context of her prosecution in the “Future Dollars” Case. However, her lawyer informed Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio that Cristina was appealing the decision. In consequence, Bonadio decided to prohibit her from getting rid of any past or future assets in order to prevent her from going bankrupt, which would mean she wouldn’t be able to compensate the State if found guilty.
Following her court appearance, Cristina addressed the press. Rather than focus her comments on her assets, she revealed that she was pressing charges against National Deputy and leader of the Progressive Front Margarita Stolbizer for defamation. Yesterday, Stolbizer formally accused her of having undeclared assets worth US $5 million in safety deposit boxes in various local banks. Cristina maintained that, “It’s a false accusation against me and my family with false information. She is dumb and ignorant. What’s her M.O.? She gets information, falsifies it and doesn’t understanding it.”
Federal police provided high security before the courthouse, where a large crowd of Cristina supporters had gathered.
“There’s a high level of security because in the past we’ve had an experience in which Kirchnerite organizations wanted to take control of the place,” Security Minister Patricia Bullrich told La Nación today. She was making reference to the fact that the last time Cristina testified in Comodoro Py, there were clashes between federal police and members of the youth Kirchnerite organization La Cámpora.
Besides Cristina, Lázaro Báez — the businessman at the center of the “K Money Trail,” the alleged money laundering scandal involving high-ranking Kirchnerite officials, Cristina among them — and Daniel Pérez Gadin — another businessman accused in the K Money — are testifying today. Cristina was supposed to go to Comodoro py at 10 AM, same time as Báez was testifying, but she requested her appearance be delayed to 1 AM because she had a doctor’s appointment. Coincidence or not, she avoided running into who some consider was her main partner in the aforementioned money laundering scheme.
Ibar Esteban Pérez Corradi was also expected to testify before Federal Judge María Servini de Cubría in Comodoro Py regarding the 2008 General Rodríguez Triple Murder, but it was ultimately decided he would do so in a border patrol building. (Remember that Argentine border patrol, or gendarmería, are not in fact circumscribed to the nation’s borders but are deployed throughout the country).
What’s the Future Dollars Case all about, again? Future dollars commit the Central Bank (BCRA) to sell dollars at a fixed rate in Argentine pesos at some date in the future, at an artificially low rate to unknown buyers. US $10 billion worth of future dollar contracts were sold in December, when they were actually worth US $15 billion.
Former BCRA head Alejandro Vanoli is accused of effectively giving away US $5 billion to the original buyers of the futures contracts on purpose given his knowledge of President Mauricio Macri’s explicit intention to devalue the Argentine peso from US $10 to US $15. According to Bonadio, there was no way Cristina didn’t know about Vanoli’s actions given her post, and thus is an accomplice of the crime. Former Economy Minister Axel Kicillof has also been accused of the same crime.