A federal judge in Argentina has rejected a request to reopen an investigation into allegations by the late special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, according to which former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner covered up Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.
Meanwhile, a separate investigation into Nisman’s own death, 14 months ago, may be sent to a federal court, after a prosecutor confirmed that Nisman is believed to have been murdered.
The appeal was submitted last December, when prosecutors asked that the complaint filed by Nisman, only four days before his shooting death, be reopened. Nisman was killed the day before he was to present evidence to the Argentine congress.
According to JTA, Federal Judge Daniel Rafecas ruled late last week that no new evidence has come to light regarding the alleged AMIA cover-up, and that the case is already closed since no criminal offense has been proven.
Prosecutor Raul Plee had asked the judge to review new information collected during a case dealing with the Memorandum of Understanding that Kirchner’s government signed with Iran, to jointly investigate the AMIA bombing.
Mauricio Macri's government voided the pact in December, just days after it was sworn in.
Plee wrote that the Foreign Ministry had presented “secret and confidential” documents that could reactivate Nisman’s accusation against Kirchner, her foreign minister, Hector Timerman, and others, reported JTA.
Meanwhile, the investigation into Nisman’s death could take new turn at the end of this week. On Friday, the Buenos Aires City Appeals Court will hold a public hearing to decide if the investigation into the special prosecutor’s death will be sent to a federal court – the venue that tries murder cases.
At the end of February, prosecutor Ricardo Sáenz, the prosecutor before the Buenos Aires Criminal Appeals Court, demanded that the investigation of the mysterious death of Nisman be handled by federal judicial authorities, and said Nisman was the victim of a “homicide.”
Sáenz supported the hypothesis put forward by the two plaintiffs in the case – Nisman’s daughters, mother and sister – and said that the case can no longer be handed by Judge Fabiana Palmaghini, but must go before a federal magistrate.
Nisman, the lead investigator into the horrific 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish center, and a Jew himself, was found dead in his bathroom on January 18, 2015, a .22-caliber revolver at his side.
He had been due to appear before a congressional hearing the next day to deliver a scathing report that accused then-president Cristina Kirchner of shielding high-ranking Iranian officials from prosecution over the bombing.