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Argentina’s President to be Charged in 1994 Bombing Cover-Up

Alberto Nisman’s mysterious death hasn’t silenced his investigation findings

Stephanie Butnick
February 13, 2015
Argentine President Cristina Kirchner in Buenos Aires on January 30, 2015. (ALEJANDRO PAGNI/AFP/Getty Images)
Argentine President Cristina Kirchner in Buenos Aires on January 30, 2015. (ALEJANDRO PAGNI/AFP/Getty Images)

Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman may be dead, but his decade-long investigation into an alleged government cover-up of the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center appears to be moving forward. Gerardo Pollicita, the prosecutor who took over the case when Nisman was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head the night before he was scheduled to present his findings, has requested that charges be filed against Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, as well as Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and other government figures for obstructing the investigation. Drafts of arrest warrants for Kirchner and Timerman were found in the garbage at Nisman’s apartment.

Nisman’s investigation concluded that Iran was responsible for the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Aid Society, known as AMIA, in which 85 people were killed, as well as the 1992 attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires which killed 29 people and wounded 242. But his findings went further, as Natasha Zaretsky explained: “He argued that President Cristina Kirchner chose to essentially indemnify Iran in the investigation, directing her Minister of Foreign Affairs Héctor Timerman to remove Iran from the AMIA case (and even pursue false local connections)—all to improve trade relations, hoping to exchange Argentine grain for Iranian oil.”

If Nisman’s mysterious death–which the government first called a suicide and then an assassination by an anti-government agent—was an attempt to silence him or forestall his findings, Pollicita’s latest move shows that it was unsuccessful.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.