Argentine Investigator to Review Evidence Suggesting Nisman Was Murdered

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Review follows independent report about the mysterious death of the former prosecutor. 

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The justice official probing the death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman said she would review new findings suggesting that he was murdered.

Prosecutor Viviana Fein announced the review in speaking to journalists on Friday about the death of Nisman, who on Jan. 18 was found dead at his home hours before he was scheduled to deliver a testimony on Iran’s alleged involvement in a deadly 1994 terrorist attack on Argentine Jews.


Nisman was about to accuse Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of covering up for former Iranian officials accused of being involved in the AMIA Jewish community center bombing that claimed the lives of 85 people, sources close to Nisman said.

Nisman was found in his bathroom with a weapon and a fatal wound to his head. His ex-wife, federal judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado, said on Thursday that he was murdered, citing an independent forensic report that she said proved this. Fein, however, said she could neither confirm nor discount the claims at this stage.

Still, Fein said on Friday that she would convene the authors of the independent forensic report to examine their evidence.

“I cannot determine for the moment whether it was a suicide or a homicide. Arroyo Salgado is not an expert and neither am I,” Fein said.

Nisman, who was Jewish, was the investigating prosecutor assigned to the bombing, and he accused Iran of masterminding the attack. He was a staunch critic of Fernandez de Kirchner’s controversial decision last year to re-investigate the attack along with Iranian officials.

The review next week, Fein added, would also be to “discuss the differences” between her own team’s findings and those of the independent team assembled by Arroyo Salgado.

Waldo Wolff , the vice president of the Jewish political umbrella in Argentina, DAIA, said that if the case is revealed to be a murder, there could be “unpredictable consequences for the country.”

On Friday, the New York Times printed a full-page ad by Argentina’s government, in which it seeks to explain the decision to dismiss Nisman’s accusations against top Argentine officials, including the president.

“The importance of informing about this decision lies in the institutional and political seriousness of the accusation, which charged the highest authorities of the Argentine Republic with hindering the investigation of the 1994 bombings against the building of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA),” the ad says.
 
The ad says there is no document, testimony or phone taps to support Nisman’s accusations that Kirchner and others in the government, including Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, sought to cancel the international arrest warrants (known as “red notices”) for Iranian officials accused of involvement in the AMIA bombing.
 
The ad shows the pressure Argentina’s government has faced since Nisman was found dead in his apartment the day before he was scheduled to testify before Argentina’s Congress about Argentine officials hindering the investigation of the bombing.

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