Argentina President Mauricio Macri announced he would appear before a judge Friday to address allegations regarding his links to an offshore company cited in the Panama Papers, after being accused of "maliciously hiding" his offshore accounts during his sworn statement regarding his properties and wealth.
"I know there are some people concerned about these allegations in the Panama Papers that have come out and involve me," he said during a televised address on Thursday. "I have nothing to hide."
Macri assured the Argentine public that he had “acted in accordance with the law.”
Macri was listed as a director of Fleg Trading, a Bahamas-based company managed by Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm from which the Panama Papers originated. In asset declarations in 2007 and 2008, made when he was mayor of Buenos Aires, Macri did not disclose his connection to the company.
The son of an Italian-born business tycoon, Macri has said he was not legally obliged to declare his connection with the offshore company named in the "Panama Papers" as he never had a stake in it.
Argentine prosecutor asked the judiciary on Thursday to investigate if Macri's failure to declare his connection with the offshore company meant he had "maliciously failed to complete his tax declaration," a crime which carries a sentence of 15 days to two years in jail.
The case was assigned to Judge Sebastian Casanello, who must now decide if there is sufficient evidence to open an investigation.
Macri's appearance in the Panama Papers and the way his administration has handled the matter has cast doubt over his 2015 campaign pledge to fight corruption.