Argentina’s former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has refused to testify in court over claims of state fraud
when she was in office.
They can call me to testify 20 more times. They can imprison me, but they will not be able to silence me
Instead she gave a written statement alleging judicial abuse of power. Afterwards she told thousands of supporters that she was the victim of political persecution.
Under her watch the central bank is accused of having sold US dollars at below-market rates, enabling buyers to make money and costing the government billions.
In an hour-long speech, the 63-year-old said the bank’s actions were legitimate.
“They can call me to testify 20 more times. They can imprison me, but they will not be able to silence me,” she said.
Dismissing corruption allegations, she pointed the finger at her successor, President Mauricio Macri.
Kirchner, who faces accusations of money laundering in another case, claims the accusations against her are an attempt to distract attention from the current government’s austerity measures she describes as calamitous.
Revered by many for her generous welfare programmes, she is accused by others of economic irresponsibility.