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Argentine Court Upholds Credit Suisse Executive Arrest Request

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Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- An Argentine appeals court has upheld an international arrest order for Credit Suisse Group AG executive David Mulford for failing to testify in a probe on the events leading to the country’s 2001 debt default, court documents show.

A three-judge panel in Buenos Aires said Feb. 7 that Judge Marcelo Martinez de Giorgi’s Sept. 3 ruling requesting Interpol assistance in locating and extraditing Mulford in connection to the probe is valid and must proceed, according to a copy of the ruling filed to Argentina’s court information system. The judges said the appeal signed by Mulford’s lawyer was “inconsistent.”

Drew Benson, a spokesman for Credit Suisse in New York, declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News by telephone. Andres Espina and Marcos Salt, Mulford’s lawyers in Argentina, didn’t reply to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment. Mulford, now based in London, didn’t immediately reply to a phone call to his office seeking comment.

A former U.S. Treasury undersecretary and U.S. Ambassador to India, Mulford was chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston International when he was tapped by then-Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo in 2001 to engineer a $16 billion debt exchange amid the country’s financial crisis.

Today, Mulford serves as international vice-chairman of Credit Suisse. The ruling was first reported by local news organization DyN on Feb. 11 during an Argentine holiday.

The Buenos Aires court has been investigating for a decade former government officials, including Cavallo, for possible crimes committed during the the swap, known as the “megacanje,” in Spanish, or big swap. The swap preceded Argentina’s default on $95 billion in bonds that same year.

Argentina and the U.K. have a valid extradition treaty dated 1882, said Carolina Navarro, an official at the international assistance desk at Argentina’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, in a phone interview from Buenos Aires.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pablo Gonzalez in Buenos Aires at pgonzalez49@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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