Judge Claudio Bonadio wants to restart the investigation of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner over a cover-up that followed the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, media outlets reported Tuesday. In January 2015, special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was Jewish, was found dead with a bullet in his head in his apartment on the day he was scheduled to present his charges against Fernandez to a Congressional committee.
Magistrate Daniel Rafecas, who a few days earlier had refused to reopen the case against Fernandez, which he closed in 2015, on Tuesday accepted a request for the investigation’s files from Judge Bonadio, but told Spanish news agency EFE that “the case has been closed for the lack of a crime, so that technically there is no case. What Dr. Bonadio could do is open a new investigation — but exclusively based on new evidence.”
Rafecas added that he is “obligated to send [the files] to him so that he has it on hand to evaluate or study all the findings of my inquiry.”
Nisman was appointed Special Prosecutor in charge of the AMIA bombing investigation on September 13, 2004. The probe into the 1994 terrorist attack against the AMIA had been marked by judicial misconduct, and was at an impasse. On October 25, 2006, Nisman formally accused the government of Iran of directing the AMIA bombing, and the Hezbollah militia of carrying it out. The theory was that Argentina had been targeted by Iran as punishment for its decision to suspend a nuclear technology sale to Tehran. In November 2007, Interpol published the names of six individuals officially accused for their role in the terrorist attack: Imad Fayez Moughnieh, Ali Fallahijan, Mohsen Rabbani, Ahmad Reza Asghari, Ahmad Vahidi and Mohsen Rezaee.
In 2008 Nisman asked to arrest former president Carlos Menem, along with Judge Juan José Galeano, who first presided over the AMIA case until his removal in 2004. WikiLeaks revealed that US diplomats considered that Nisman may have done it as a gesture to new President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, since he was seeking the post of Argentina’s General Prosecutor.
In January 2015, Nisman accused President Kirchner, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman and other politicians of covering up the roles of Iranian suspects in the case, in exchange for Iranian business. The charge was based on wire tap reports of meetings of Kirchner’s people with Mohsen Rabbani, a former cultural attaché at Iran’s embassy in Buenos Aires.
Nisman’s body was discovered on the day he was supposed to appear before a parliamentary committee to present his case against the president (who has since lost her post).