[JURIST] Former Argentinian president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner [BBC profile] was charged in federal court last Friday for manipulating the economy in order to resolve the country’s low foreign reserves. The ruling judge found [CNN report] that Kirchner, along with the former finance minister, former central bank chief and 15 other charged officials, conspired to sell $17 billion in futures contracts using an inflated dollar value for the country’s own currency. The judge further stated that the illegal action has cost the country $5.2 billion, money which could have been used instead to directly boost the country’s own troubled economy. Kirchner’s crimes may be punishable [Metro report] by 5 to 20 years in prison. She has denied all claims against her and stated that such accusations are politically motivated.
Kirchner has recently been the subject of various corruption investigations. Earlier this month, an Argentinian federal prosecutor made a formal request [JURIST report] to a judge to conduct an investigation of Kirchner and her son for illegal enrichment in an ongoing money laundering investigation. Last year a judge in Argentina dismissed criminal allegations against Kirchner that accused her of conspiring to shield Iranian officials from responsibility for the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires. Kirchner was accused [JURIST report] of the cover up in January 2015. An appeals court in Argentina ruled in May 2014 that a controversial agreement between Argentina and Iran to investigate the 1994 bombing was unconstitutional [JURIST report]. The two nations signed [JURIST report] the agreement in January 2013, which permitted Argentine authorities to question the Iranian suspects under Interpol arrest warrants, but only in Tehran. In 2005 Argentina accepted [JURIST report] formal responsibility for its failure to discover who was behind the 1994 bombing.