Tags: Argentina | Iran | attacks | Jews | politics

Argentine Prosecutors Appeal Dismissal of Case against President

Wednesday, 04 March 2015 02:01 PM

Argentine prosecutors said Wednesday they have appealed a judge's decision to dismiss their case against President Cristina Kirchner for allegedly protecting Iranian officials accused of orchestrating a 1994 bombing.

Prosecutors are seeking to relaunch the case that was being brought by their late colleague Alberto Nisman, who died mysteriously on January 18 after accusing Kirchner of shielding high-ranking Iranians suspected of ordering the deadly bombing at a Buenos Aires Jewish center.

Lead prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita argued in his 35-page appeal that Judge Daniel Rafecas was overly hasty in his decision last Thursday to throw out the case.

"Criminal trials... have their own rules. Faced with a premature ruling, there must be a new analysis of the evidence in the case and a broad review of the decision, otherwise we will not fulfill the objective of reaching the material truth," he wrote.

The appeal was filed with Rafecas, who must now decide whether the case should go to a higher court.

The judge had assailed the prosecution's case in his ruling, saying that "none of the alleged crimes presented by Pollicita in his petition to the court are demonstrated in the least."

The long-unsolved bombing at the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association killed 85 people and wounded 300.

Nisman accused Iran of ordering the attack via Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Four days before his death, he filed a report accusing Kirchner, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and other figures close to the government of protecting high-ranking Iranian officials, including former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, in exchange for oil and other trade benefits.

He was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment of a gunshot wound to the head on the eve of congressional hearings where he was due to present his allegations.

Pollecita's team then took over the file and formally renewed his accusations.

Since Nisman's death, initially labeled a suicide, suspicion has fallen on Kirchner's government of orchestrating his murder.

The president has suggested the prosecutor was manipulated by disgruntled former intelligence agents who then killed him to smear her.

The government took out ads in several local newspapers Wednesday accusing Nisman of trying to destabilize it.

"With the case (against Kirchner) dismissed, we must ask ourselves what objectives Nisman was pursuing," said the ad.

"Is it possible to think of any other explanation than seeking to create political instability?"

After Nisman raised suspicions about the president, the government turned the spotlight on a powerful ex-spy, Antonio Stiuso, who had been sacked as operations chief of the intelligence services in December.

Kirchner has accused Stiuso of feeding false information to Nisman, and suggested that he then had the prosecutor killed.

Kirchner has clashed with Argentina's intelligence establishment, sacking the top officials at the Intelligence Secretariat (SI) and introducing a bill to disband it that passed the legislature last week.

The new law replaces the SI with a body called the Federal Intelligence Agency and puts the solicitor general, who answers to Kirchner, in charge of the office responsible for carrying out telephone wiretaps.

Nisman had based his accusations against Kirchner on hundreds of hours of wiretaps.


© AFP 2018

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Argentina, Iran, attacks, Jews, politics
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 02:01 PM
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