Judge Reopens Case Against Argentine Ex-president Over 1994 Bombing of Jewish Center

Alberto Nisman, who was killed in mysterious circumstances, had filed original complaint, but judge persuaded by parents of two victims, The New York Times reports.

A man holding a sign that reads: "Eighty-five plus Nisman equals zero" on the 22nd anniversary of the bombing of the AMIA Jewish center that killed 85 people in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 18, 2016.
Natacha Pisarenko/AP

The criminal complaint against former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner regarding the investigation of the deadly bombing of a local Jewish center in 1994 has been ordered reopened by a federal judge, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Alberto Nisman, a federal prosecutor who was mysteriously shot to death last year, had filed the original complaint, accusing the former president of being involved in a cover-up, thus interfering with the investigation into the bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people.

Nisman was found dead on January 18, hours before he was to present his allegations of a secret deal to cover up Iranian officials’ alleged role in the AMIA bombing to Argentina’s Congress against Kirchner, former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and their government.

The judge, Claudio Bonadio, decided on Friday to revive the complaint, according to The New York Times, came after lawyers filed a request to reopen the investigation on behalf of fathers of two of the victims. However, the decision was only made public on Monday.

Judge Bonadio asked a colleague, Judge Daniel Rafecas, to send him Nisman's 289-page complaint so that he could investigate accusations against Timerman, The New York Times reported. Judge Rafecas, who originally reviewed the complaint, has consistently dismissed the charges.

Judge Bonadio last Tuesday accepted a request made by two fathers of AMIA bombing victims to be considered as plaintiffs in the case against Kirchner and Timerman, along with members of Congress who in February 2103 voted for the controversial memorandum of understanding with Iran that initiated the joint investigation of the AMIA attack.

The memorandum of understanding was voided in December by Argentine President Mauricio Macri, a week after he took office.

According to Nisman's complaint, Kirchner and Timerman were accused of ordering secret negotiations in order to protect former Iranian officials suspected of being involved in the attack in return for favorable trade agreements, The New York Times reported.

The two victims’ fathers leveraged new evidence against Timerman to convince Judge Bonadio to reopen the complaint, Tomás J. Farini Duggan, a lawyer for the fathers, told The New York Times.