Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Alberto Nisman.
Federal prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita accused Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on Friday with covering up Iran's alleged role in a 1994 terror attack at a Buenos Aires Jewish center that left 85 people dead and several hundred injured, according to court filings cited by several media outlets.
The filing, which could lead to the authorization of a full investigation into Fernandez, essentially continues the work done by prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head in his Buenos Aires apartment on Jan. 18.
Four days earlier, Nisman accused Fernandez and several others, including her foreign minister, Héctor Timerman, of conspiring with Iran to cover up its role in the terrorist attack as a way to curry favor for a potential trade deal. His mysterious death came one day before he was scheduled to testify to Congress about his allegations. A draft of an arrest warrant for Fernandez dated June 2014 was later found in his trash.
According to Nisman's nearly 300-page accusation, the Argentine administration had agreed to back away from the long-held official position that Iran had ordered the attack and instead open a truth commission with the Middle Eastern country, an agreement laid out in a 2013 memorandum of understanding. Nisman alleged that the deal was made so that energy-starved Argentina could trade grain for Iranian oil on favorable terms.
It has been noted, however, that Iran never ratified the memorandum of understanding and that no Iranian oil has been imported to Argentina. On Friday, the administration was expected to file a brief in court refuting Nisman's accusations.
Fernandez initially called Nisman's death a suicide. But she later reversed her thinking, writing a letter with a subtitle, "The suicide (that I am convinced) was not suicide." DNA from a second person was later found in Nisman's home.
Fernandez and her administration have denied wrongdoing. Another prosecutor, Viviana Fein, is investigating Nisman's death, which has yet to be classified as either a suicide or a homicide.
Tom Namako is the head of breaking news for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Contact this editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Tom Namako at email@example.com.
Millie Tran is the Director of Global Adaptation and is based in New York.
Contact Millie Tran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ken Bensinger is an investigative reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles. His secure PGP fingerprint is 97CC 6E32 10A2 23FE 4E84 98B4 9CFF 4214 9D26 8AA7
Contact Ken Bensinger at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.