Argentina's President Now Believes Nisman's Death Was Not Suicide

The prosecutor was investigating the 1994 Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people, most of them Jewish, but was found dead on Sunday.

Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, September 24, 2014. AP

Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said Thursday that she does not believe that Prosecutor General Alberto Nisman, who was found dead in his home on Sunday, committed suicide. Only two days earlier, Kirchner wrote on her Facebook page that Nisman had apparently killed himself.

Nisman, 51, was investigating the bombing that tore apart the premises of the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) in Buenos Aires in July 1994, killing 85 people, most of them Jewish, and injuring 300.

Nisman, who had harshly criticized Kirschner for covering up the attack on the Jewish center, was scheduled to take part in an Argentinian Congress hearing this week, where he planned to accuse President Kirchner of whitewashing the investigation of the affair. He was convinced she did so in order to strengthen trade ties with Iran, which was allegedly behind the massive bombing.

British newspaper The Daily Telegraph cited Kirchner as saying that despite the police's assumption that Nisman committed suicide, she did not believe he did so.

"Today, I do not have proof, but I do not have any doubt," she said in a post on her official website.

Kirchner posted several WhatsApp messages on her website, which were screenshots of Nisman's messages to his friends telling them he had cut short his family holiday in Europe - where his ex-wife and two daughters live - to return to Argentina and work on the case, the Telegraph said.

Although the perpetrators of the 1994 bombing were never brought to justice, the consensus among investigators and within the Western intelligence community was that the attack was masterminded by the Iranian government and carried out by members of Hezbollah.

At one stage, indictments were served and Interpol arrest warrants issued. But governments came and went, and Argentina's presidents and their administration were less than eager to expose the foreign powers involved, or their local collaborators.

Nisman planned to submit to the Congress a 300-page report with findings he said showed that Kirchner, Jewish Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and other officials tried to disrupt the investigation of the bombing so as not to harm the state's ties with Iran.

Kirchner denied Nisman's accusations and claimed he had been fed false information by corrupt secret agents.

Nisman's report asserts that the president, Timerman and other officials covered up the investigation findings because Kirchner wanted to make a trade deal with Iran, consisting of Iranian oil for grains and weapons from Argentina.

Nisman said Kirchner conveyed messages via covert channels to Iranian officials about the investigation.

The mediator for these transactions was Luis D'Elia, a former Argentinian official who is pro-Iranian and has close ties with the Iranian administration.

Argentina's government spokesman, Anibal Ferenandez, Thursday denied  Nisman's allegations and said they were "groundless."