July 22, 2014
Prosecutor files appeal against 'mega-swap' case ruling
The public prosecutor office has filed an appeal against a Buenos Aires City court ruling that earlier this month dismissed the so called “megacanje” case – the 2001 financial operation that involved a significant exchange of public bonds meant at healing Argentina’s then ailing economy but that failed to prevent the 2001-2002 social outburst and historic default.
Former US Treasury undersecretary David Mulford is among the impeached that resulted cleared as the justices dismissed the case on statue of limitations grounds.
The office run by prosecutor Germán Moldes presented the appeal befor the 2nd. Federal Court which will now have to resolve whether it agrees to the revision and the case reaches the Cassation Federal Court.
A “colossal fraud to public finance” Moldes considered the “mega-swap” that the then ruling coalition government of Fernando de la Rúa officially estimated to amount to 20,000 million dollars, allegedly bringing some relief ahead of payment obligations and avoid default.
In his written note, Moldes warns that “the only important thing is that everyone and each of them respond for their illicit actions.”
“The opposite would mean to enshrine that no consequence can be considered for decades of mistakes, lack of foresight and inappropriate decisions that brought us here and prompted a fracture between public trust and guarantees of the state of law,” the official adds in his statement describing the 2001 operation as a fraud that unveils the “marriage” between public officials and private associations” to clinch “dilapidating contracts” that jeopardise the country’s economy.
Regarding the ex US treaury undersecretary, prosecutor Moldes targeted Argentina’s justices that failed to bring David Mulford to court over the past twelve years while he showed no “concrete signs of willing to obey or respect” the country’s legislation.
Based on statue of limitations grounds, justices Horacio Cattani, Martín Irurzun and Eduardo Farah dropped charges against against Mulford and Argentina’s Horacio Liendo and Federico Sturzenegger (current MP under the PRO party led by Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri), among other impeached.
Moldes' decision comes as the federal government races against the clock to secure a fair negotiation with vulture funds that refused to enter the country's 2005 and 2010 debt swaps following the default more than a decade ago. In his latest public appearance, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner blasted indeed both the "mega-swap" and the "shielding" (known here as "blindaje") system that involved IMF funding, for leading to Argentina's worst financial crisis. US-based creditors now suing the country bought already defaulted bonds and now demand a 1.3 billion dollar payment that has raised default fears in the South American country over the past weeks.