Argentine Judge and Spy Chief Jailed in AMIA Bombing Cover-up, Ex-president Acquitted

Juan José Galeano, a former federal judge who led the probe into the attack that killed more than 80 people, was sentenced to six years in jail by a three-judge pane

Rescue workers search for survivors and victims in the rubble left after a bomb destroyed the Buenos Aires headquarters of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association, killing 85. July 18, 1994.
Enrique Marcarian, Reuters

 A former judge in Argentina and a spy chief were jailed for their role in a cover-up of the deadly 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, but former president Carlos Menem was acquitted.

Juan José Galeano, a former federal judge who led the probe into the attack that killed more than 80 people, was sentenced to six years in jail by a three-judge panel in Buenos Aires that had studied the case for four years. Former intelligence chief Hugo Anzorreguy was sentenced to 4 1/2 years  for his role in the cover-up.

Galeano was convicted of concealment and violation of evidence.

Menem, 88, was absolved of charges he tried to interfere with the investigation into Argentina’s worst-ever terrorist attack, which left 85 dead and hundreds injured. A dozen others also were acquitted of that charge, including a former leader of Argentine Jewry, Ruben Beraja.

The ruling came in a trial ordered in August 2015 based on allegations that Menem and other government officials tried to divert attention in the bombing investigation away from a Syrian businessman who was a Menem family friend.

The court also sentenced Carlos Telleldín, a used car dealer who sold the van that contained the bomb used to attack the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) center, to 3 1/2 years in jail.

No one has ever been convicted of the bombing, though Argentina – and Israel – have long pointed the finger at Tehran, implicating several former Iranian officials, and Hezbollah.