Federal Prosecutor Eduardo Taiano today requested that former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner be sent to trial in the so-called “Future Dollars” case. This means that Judge Claudio Bonadio now just needs to agree with the prosecutor for the case to reach its final stage, in which a tribunal would issue a final verdict. This would be the first case where the former President could be sentenced.
What’s the case all about, again? So-called ‘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.
Alejandro Vanoli, who was the Central Bank president when the alleged unlawful operations took place, 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 former Economy Minister Axel Kicillof and along with several other government officials, knowingly attempted to sabotage current president Mauricio Macri’s administration. This accusation is linked to their alleged understanding that Macri intended to sharply devalue the peso by lifting currency controls after taking office. In his ruling, Bonadio states that the BCRA couldn’t have acted without the executive’s knowledge and consent, which would place the blame ultimately with the former President.
In order to prevent her from potentially hiding her assets should she be found guilty and have to compensate the state, Bonadio seized her assets, worth AR $15 million.
However, Fernández is appearing rather confident when it comes to her chances of being declared innocent. Late last year, She formally refused to appeal the Federal Court’s decision to confirm indictment and even had her lawyer, Carlos Beraldi, turn in a written statement requesting that Bonadio speed up the process in order to get the trial into motion as fast as possible. Her request is very close to being granted.