A federal judge in Argentina rejected a request to reopen an investigation into allegations by the late AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman that the former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her government covered up Iran’s role in the bombing of a Jewish center.
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Federal Judge Daniel Rafecas on February 10 turned down the request made in December by prosecutors to reconsider the complaint filed by Nisman four days before his still-unexplained death. His death occurred on the day that he was to present evidence to Argentine lawmakers that Kirchner covered up Iran’s role in the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires that left 85 dead and hundreds wounded.
Prosecutor Raul Plee had asked the judge to review new information collected during a case dealing with the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Iran to co-investigate the bombing, with an eye toward reviving Nisman’s complaint. Iran has been accused of being behind the bombing.
The government of Mauricio Macri voided the pact in December, days after it was sworn in.
Plee wrote in his December request to reopen the complaint that during hearings on the unconstitutionality of the pact with Iran, the Foreign Ministry presented “secret and confidential” documents that could be considered useful to reactivate Nisman’s accusation against Kirchner, her Jewish former foreign minister Hector Timerman, and others.
Rafecas ruled late last week that no new evidence has come to light and that the case is already closed due to the absence of a proven criminal offense. He also wrote that the accusation had already been rejected by the First Division of the Federal Criminal Appeals Court and that the prosecutor before the Federal Cassation Court, Javier de Luca, also dismissed the case.
Meanwhile, the investigation into Nisman’s death could take a new turn at the end of the week. On March 18, the Buenos Aires City Appeals Court will hold a public hearing with all parties involved to decide if the investigation into Nisman’s death will be sent to a federal court, which deal with murder cases.
At the end of February, prosecutor Ricardo Sáenz called for a federal investigation of the Nisman case. Saenz, the attorney general for Argentina’s Criminal Appeals Court, said that a federal magistrate “has the broadest jurisdiction to clarify which of all the assumptions” involving Nisman’s death is the truth. Some have called his death a homicide, while others believe that the prosecutor took his own life.