Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio summoned former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to the Comodoro Py Courthouse on Wednesday to officially notify her that her assets have been seized for AR $15 million, in the context of her prosecution in the “future dollars” case.
What’s the 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.
Cristina had to testify before the judge for her alleged involvement in the case for the first time last April 13. Her return to the City of Buenos Aires (she’s currently living in Santa Cruz Province) brought the country to a halt, as many believed this event would mark her return to Argentine politics. In fact, after presenting a written statement rather than testifying, Cristina delivered an impassioned speech to cheering crowds of supporters waiting for her outside the Comodoro Py Courthouse. In it, she called her current situation “political persecution” and stated that the current administration is conducting a witch hunt to remove the blame she feels they have incurred for hurting the country’s economy.
“I want you all to be calm, very calm. They can summon me 20 times, they can put me in jail, but they can never shut me up. I will always be with you,” said Cristina back then, before encouraging people to create a “citizens’ front” to “recover the freedom of the Argentine people.” However, after meeting with several congresspeople from the Victory Front (FpV) and inaugurating the Instituto Patria (a think tank that outlines how the FpV caucus ought to lead opposition against the President Mauricio Macri administration), she returned to her house in Calafate and her appearances have been circumscribed to social media. She did however speak in an extensive interview on journalist Roberto Navarro’s political TV show Economía Política yesterday.