Argentine Judge Seeks Arrest of Ex-president for Covering Up Iran’s Role in Jewish Center Bombing

A federal judge in Argentina indicted ex-President Cristina Fernandez for trying to cover up Iran’s possible role in the bombing of a Jewish community center in 1994 that killed 85 people

Former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner attends a swearing-in ceremony for senators at the Argentine Senate in Buenos Aires, November 29, 2017
Former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner attends a swearing-in ceremony for senators at the Argentine Senate in Buenos Aires, November 29, 2017 REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

A federal judge in Argentina indicted and asked for the arrest of former President Cristina Fernandez for trying to cover up Iran’s possible role in the bombing of a Jewish community center in 1994 that killed 85 people, state news agency Telam said on Thursday.

As Fernandez is a senator, Congress would first have to vote to strip her of parliamentary immunity before she can be detained. The judge, Claudio Bonadio, also indicted and ordered house arrest for Fernandez’s Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, Telam said.

Fernandez and Timerman have previously denied wrongdoing.

Earlier on Thursday, two lower level allies of Fernandez were arrested in the same case on Bonadio’s order: Carlos Zannini, a legal adviser, and Luis D‘Elia, the leader of a group of protesters allied with her government.

An Argentine appeals court ordered the re-opening of the investigation into the potential bombing cover up a year ago. In January 2015, the prosecutor who initially made the accusation, Alberto Nisman, was found shot dead in the bathroom of his Buenos Aires apartment.

The death was classified as a suicide, though an official investigating the case has said the shooting appeared to be a homicide. Nisman’s body was discovered hours before he was to brief Congress on the bombing of the center.

Nisman said Fernandez worked behind the scenes to clear Iran and normalize relations to clinch a grains-for-oil deal with Tehran.