The Argentine federal court will hear from key witnesses in the case against President Mauricio Macri and his links to companies serving as tax havens as part of the Panama Papers scandal.
The investigation focuses on the commercial activities of the offshore company Fleg Trading, linked to Macri and his family, which appeared in the leaks released in April by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
The federal Judge Sebastian Casanello will listen to two witnesses linked to the company, based in the Bahamas — businessman Marcelo Temporini, general manager of a Brazilian company and economist Alberto Tarantini, who is close to the Argentine president.
Macri admitted this week that he has US$18 million in tax havens after he repeatedly denied earlier allegations arising from being named in the Panama Papers. He also failed to declare his high-level positions in two offshore companies in Panama as part of his mandatory declaration at the beginning of his term.
The release of financial information comes after Macri shot into the international spotlight at the beginning of April when he was identified as one of the global heads of state directly implicated in the Panama Papers.
The massive leak revealed thousands of businessmen and many world leaders who had dealings with Panama-based company Mossack Fonseca, which set up offshore companies to evade financial regulations
Macri, his father and brother were directors of an offshore shell company in the Bahamas up until 2009, which the president failed to disclose when he was the mayor of Buenos Aires.
The president's fortune went from US$52 million in December 2015 to US$110 million in May 2016.
Macri’s government has proposed a tax amnesty bill that aims to shield tax evaders who have undeclared holdings and assets inside Argentina and abroad.
On the other hand, austerity and neoliberal policies rolled out since Macri took power, continue to hit the country — such as price hikes in public services, transportation, gas and electricity. The country also is experiencing its highest inflation rate since 2002.