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Argentinian Judge Throws Out Nisman Charges

Rules dead prosecutor’s case against president insufficient to investigate

by
Tal Trachtman Alroy
February 26, 2015
A police officer in front of the Casa Rosada presidential palace on February 19, 2015 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A police officer in front of the Casa Rosada presidential palace on February 19, 2015 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

An Argentinian judge has dismissed prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s accusations against Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Nisman, who was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head last month hours before he was to present controversial findings before a Congressional Committee, accused Kirchner of conspiring with Iran to obstruct a probe into the deadly 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center. In an allegation he filed before his death, Nisman also found that Kirchner had directed her Minister of Foreign Affairs, Héctor Timerman, to remove Iran from the case in hope that it would strengthen trade of Argentinian grain for Iranian oil.

The New York Times reports that Judge Daniel Rafecas ruled Thursday that the criminal allegations put forward by Nisman before his death were not sufficient to open an investigation into Kirchner. The allegations did not “minimally hold up,” according to Judge Rafecas’ 63-page report.

A spokeswoman for the Argentinian judiciary said that the judge’s decision could be appealed by Gerardo Pollicita, the prosecutor who took over the case after Nisman’s death.

Investigators are still working to determine whether Nisman was killed or committed suicide, as government officials initially claimed. The lead investigator told reporters Wednesday that Nisman’s death was “a great unsolved mystery.” Tens of thousands of Argentinians gathered in Buenos Aires at the AMIA Jewish center last week to honor the one-month anniversary of Nisman’s death.

Tal Trachtman Alroy is an intern at Tablet.

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