Argentine prosecutor rejects Kirchner conspiracy case

Federal prosecutor dismisses accusations against Argentine president Cristina Kirchner

Updated Jul 28, 2015

An Argentine federal prosecutor dismissed accusations against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on Monday.

Kirchner was accused of conspiring to cover up Iran’s alleged involvement in a 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires that resulted in 85 deaths.

Prosecutor Javier De Luca explained his decision not to prosecute in a 27-page document, noting there was not enough evidence of a crime in late prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s investigation.

Nisman had accused Kirchner and high-ranking officials of helping cover up Iranian involvement in the bombing of the Amia centre.

His 300-page complaint in January 2015 maintained that Kirchner and Hector Timerman, the foreign minister, had agreed to a scheme that would shift blame from Iranian officials to local right-wing groups.

Iran would supply oil in exchange for Argentine grain if Argentina dropped the international arrest warrant against six Iranian individuals officially accused for their role in the terrorist attack, Nisman claimed.

Nisman was found dead in his home on Jan. 18, with a gunshot wound to the head, four days after his allegations against the Argentine president. He was scheduled to testify before the Argentine congress the next day.

Progress has been slow in the case concerning Nisman’s death, and investigators are unable to determine whether the prosecutor’s death is a suicide or a homicide.

Iran has denied any involvement with the Buenos Aires bombing, while President Kirchner has rejected the allegations put forward by Nisman.

The case had been thrown out of two courts, and was appealed to a higher court. De Luca’s refusal to take the case to Argentina’s Supreme Court means “the criminal accusations are dead,” said Eduardo Michaud, an attorney specialising in criminal law.

De Luca is a member of Legitimate Justice, a pro-Kirchner group said to focus on protecting government officials. In March, German Moldes, a prosecutor who favored a full federal investigation of Nisman’s allegations, claimed that De Luca was a partisan political actor who wouldn’t give a fair hearing.

De Luca, in return, called Moldes “a gangster.” Legitimate Justice leaders say that the judiciary has become too close to big corporations and vested interests and they are pushing for judicial reform.

According to the World Economic Forum’s rating of judicial independence, Argentina ranks 127 out of 144 countries.

TRTWorld and agencies