Argentina's President Says
Prosecutor Killed In Plot
January 22, 2015 "ICH"
- Argentine President Cristina Kirchner has
said she believes a prosecutor who died
under suspicious circumstances was murdered
in a plot to implicate her government in a
cover-up of a 1994 bombing of a Jewish
Alberto Nisman, the lead
prosecutor in the two-decade-old case, was
found dead with a gunshot wound to the head
in his home on Sunday - one day before he
was to go before a congressional hearing to
accuse Kirchner of shielding Iranian
officials implicated in the attack, which
left dozens dead.
Investigators have said
Nisman appeared to have committed suicide,
but have not ruled out homicide or an
In a post on her Facebook
page on Thursday, Kirchner contended that
Nisman was killed to immerse her government
in scandal after he had been "used" to
publicly accuse her of involvement in the
cover-up, the AFP news agency reported.
"I'm convinced that it was
not suicide," Kirchner said.
charges were never in themselves the true
operation against the government. They
collapsed early on. Nisman did not know it
and probably never knew it.
"The true operation against
the government was the prosecutor's death
after accusing the president, her foreign
minister, and the secretary-general of (her
political faction) of covering up for the
Iranians accused in the AMIA attack," she
Kirchner did not say who
she thought was behind Nisman's death, but
aides in recent days have pointed to former
intelligence officials who were recently
fired, including the former chief of
operations of the Intelligence Secretariate,
Antonio Stiusso, who worked closely with
The mystery over Nisman's
death has only deepened since he was found
in the bathroom of his 13th floor apartment,
with a .22-caliber revolver beside his body.
Although it appeared to be
a suicide, a test detected no powder residue
on his hands. Nisman's mother, Sara
Garfunkel, who found the body, and his
ex-wife have said they do not believe he
Viviana Fein, the
prosecutor investigating his death, said it
was still classified as "doubtful."
Before his death, Nisman
had filed a 280-page complaint charging that
Kirchner had issued an "express directive"
to shield a group of Iranian suspects in the
Nisman contended that the
government had agreed to swap grain for oil
with Tehran in exchange for withdrawing "red
notices" to Interpol seeking the arrests of
the former and current Iranian officials
accused in the case.
He backed it up with
information gleaned from intercepted
telephone conversations and reports by two
supposed intelligence agents, who the
Intelligence Secretariat said did not work
for them and dismissed as "influence
denounced Kirchner's charges as an
"It's very serious. To go
from supporting the thesis of a suicide, to
an assassination, she must assume the
consequences," said Senator Ernesto Sanz, a
member of the opposition.
The attack on the Buenos
Aires headquarters of the Argentine Jewish
Mutual Association, or AMIA killed 84 people
and injured more than 300 when a van loaded
with explosives was detonated in front of
Since 2006, Argentinian
courts have demanded the extradition of
eight Iranians, including former president
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former defence
minister Ahmad Vahidi and Iran's former
cultural attache in Buenos Aires, Mohsen
Rabbani, for the bombing.
But in 2013, Kirchner
signed a memorandum of understanding with
Tehran agreeing to set up a "truth
commission" to investigate the bombing and
allowing Argentine prosecutors to question
the suspects in Iran.
The rapprochement was
vehemently opposed at the time by Jewish
community leaders, who charged it was