BUENOS AIRES – An Argentine judge on Friday authorized charges against former President Cristina Fernandez in a case involving alleged irregularities in dollar futures contracts carried out by the Central Bank during her administration.
Judge Claudio Bonadio approved indictments of Fernandez, former Economy Minister Axel Kiciloff, erstwhile Central Bank chief Alejandro Vanoli and 12 other people.
The original criminal complaint was brought in November 2015, Fernandez’s last full month in office, by members of current President Mauricio Macri’s right-wing Cambiemos coalition.
The complainants alleged that the Central Bank was selling dollar futures at below-market rates to prop up the Argentine currency, pointing for example to March 2016 contracts that valued the peso at 10.65 pesos even though at the time the New York Stock Exchange had set a price of around 14 pesos per greenback for similar transactions.
Bonadio said the transactions resulted in a loss to the Central Bank of 1.55 billion pesos ($105.5 million) and that Fernandez and the other senior officials should be held responsible.
Last November, Vanoli responded to the lawmakers’ allegations with a statement insisting that the Central Bank’s “normal and customary” intervention in the futures market was carried out in keeping with the law and the bank’s charter.