Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Bonadío: CFK, Kicillof ‘damaged’ the country with dollar future sales
Federal Judge Claudio Bonadío yesterday said former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and ex-economy minister Axel Kicillof had caused “economic damage to the country” by selling dollar futures during their last months in office, as he initiated proceedings and summoned the testimony of former officials in the ongoing investigation.
According to judicial sources, Bonadío — long an enemy of the former president — said the sale of dollar futures “could not have taken place without the express approval of the top authorities from the Economy ministry and the Executive”, and that the measure “did not make any economic sense for the interests of the Central Bank.”
While reading the accusations against former Central Bank director Flavia Marrodán, one of the accused, Bonadío suggested both CFK and Kicillof had adopted a “political decision” to offer dollar futures below-market rates.
The magistrate summoned CFK for April 13 and Kicillof for a day earlier. Alejandro Vanoli, the former Central Bank governor, will be interrogated on April 7. It is the first criminal investigation to place the former head of state in the spotlight along with other top officials.
A complex case
In November, days before CFK left office, Bonadío ordered a raid on the Central Bank’s offices during business hours. The ex-president then accused the magistrate of “setting” monetary and exchange rate policy, adding that the magistrate’s actions could have been a “judicial” run on the peso.
His order to move forward with the raid was made after a decision by federal prosecutor Eduardo Taiano to charge Vanoli with fraud, following a complaint filed by Let’s Change representatives Federico Pinedo (PRO party) and Mario Negri (Radical party-UCR).
According to Negri and Pinedo, the Central Bank was selling dollar futures at unrealistic rates. March 2016 contracts, for instance, were being settled for 10.65 pesos, when according to Pinedo and Negri, the price should have been 14 or 15 pesos by that time, below the current exchange rate.
Taiano requested that the BCRA explain when it started to sell dollar futures and to specify the regulations that it has been following. Vanoli, for his part, argued that the sale of dollar futures sought to bring certainty to the market and has denied any wrongdoing.
Herald staff with Télam, DyN