Saturday, 29 Feb 2020 - 4 of Adar, 5780

New Argentinian president changes his stance on the death of Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who investigated the 1994 AMIA bombing

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The timing and circumstances of Alberto Nisman’s death were suspicious as it occurred two days after he accused then-president Cristina Kirchner and some of her top aides of covering up Iran’s involvement in the bombing in return for lucrative trade deals with her government. Nisman had been due to outline his case against Kirchner before the Argentinian parliament.

 

BUENOS AIRES— On January 18, 2015, a special prosecutor who was investigating the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) Jewish group headquarters in Buenos Aires, which left 85 dead and 300 wounded, was found dead in the bathroom of his apartment with a gunshot wound to the head, delivered at close range from a handgun found at his side.

The timing and circumstances of Alberto Nisman’s death were suspicious as it occurred two days after he accused then-president Cristina Kirchner and some of her top aides of covering up Iran’s involvement in the bombing in return for lucrative trade deals with her government. Nisman had been due to outline his case against Kirchner before the Argentinian parliament.

Nisman’s investigation had resulted in the global law enforcement agency Interpol issuing six “red notices”  in 2007 for Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah operatives believed to have planned the attack.

For nearly a year, Nisman’s death was depicted by the Argentine authorities as a suicide, rather than a murder.

However, an independent investigation in 2017 by the Gendarmeria, a national law enforcement agency, concluded definitively from its examination of the crime scene that Nisman was murdered.

A few weeks after the publication of the Gendarmeria report, Federal Judge Julian Ercolini issued a 656-page ruling determining that Nisman had been murdered.

But now, the new President of Argentina, Alberto Fernandez, said that “there isn’t a shred of proof” that Alberto Nisman was murdered, as his family insists.

Argentina’s new President Alberto Fernandez and Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner smile after they took the oath of office at the Congress in Buenos Aires on December 10.

In an interview with daily newspaper Clarin, Fernandez  questioned the “scientific rigor” behind the 2017 police investigation which concluded that Nisman had been assassinated.

In the interview, Fernandez — who was elected president in October — revived the claim of the former administration of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner that Nisman had committed suicide. The interview coincided with the release on Netflix of a six-part documentary on the murder of Nisman.

Fernandez is a former chief of staff to Kirchner, who now serves as his Vice President, Fernandez gave an interview in 2017 that featured in the Netflix documentary, in which he said plainly: “To this day, I doubt that he (Nisman) committed suicide.”

On another occasion, Fernandez even attacked Kirchner for colluding with the Iranians on a 2013 Memorandum of Understanding that would have replaced the AMIA investigation with a toothless “truth commission.”

“Cristina knows that she has lied and that the memorandum signed with Iran only sought to cover up the defendants,” Fernandez told the newspaper La Nacion in 2015.

But in the weeks since his election as president, Fernandez has reverted to depicting Nisman’s murder as a suicide. The new Security Minister Sabina Frederic even announced last week that the government was “reviewing” the Gendarmeria’s conclusion that Nisman was assassinated.

 

 

 

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