Argentina: Test Results Reignite Debate on Death of Prosecutor

Test results on the gun that killed a prosecutor investigating Argentina’s worst terrorist attack have reignited the debate over how he died, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Results released late Monday show the gun that killed Alberto Nisman would have left traces of metals from the gun’s cartridges on the hand that pulled the trigger. Two tests done on Nisman’s hands a few days after his death showed no traces, the report noted.

Nisman’s ex-wife, Judge Sandra Arroyo, said in response the new test on the gun proves someone else shot him.

“Ballistic experts told me that in 100% of the cases that this .22-caliber Bersa pistol was fired with the same kind of ammo (that pierced Nisman’s skull) it would leave traces on the person firing the shot,” she was quoted as having told local Radio Mitre.

Nisman was found dead in his bathroom of a gunshot wound to the head on January 18, on the eve of congressional hearings where he was due to present his accusations against President Cristina Kirchner with regards to the unsolved 1994 attack on the Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.

After his death was initially labelled a suicide, his family commissioned its own independent forensic investigation.

It has been revealed that Nisman had drafted arrest warrants for Kirchner and for Foreign Minister Hector Timerman before he was found dead.

The charges drawn up by Nisman were subsequently endorsed by a new team of prosecutors, but a judge later dismissed the case, indicating he believed no crime was committed.

Lead prosecutor Viviana Fein said the latest test is inconclusive and doesn’t determine if Nisman killed himself or was slain by someone else. She also challenged Nisman’s ex-wife to come up with “direct and concrete” proof that the late prosecutor was killed, according to the AP report.

Local media reported that the tests were carried out at a laboratory in the northern Argentine city of Salta. Investigators reportedly tried to recreate the shooting by using pig skin to cover up the hand of a mannequin and then firing a shot using the pistol that killed Nisman.

The test results were first released to local press, but Fein said they cannot be fully accurate because they cannot recreate the crime scene.

“We can’t take one piece of proof in an isolated way,” she said, according to AP. The investigation will continue and is expected to conclude in October.


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