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  • Former Argentine President and Senator Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner speaks during a news conference at the Congress in Buenos Aires, December 7, 2017.

    Former Argentine President and Senator Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner speaks during a news conference at the Congress in Buenos Aires, December 7, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 January 2018

In December, a judge called on Fernandez de Kirchner to testify in an investigation on the alleged cover-up of a 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, a move Fernandez said is politically motivated.

Former President Cristina Fernandez appealed on Monday her trial and the preventive prison ordered against her in December after she was accused of covering up Iran's alleged role in the bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center in 1994.

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Preventive detention was eventually not applied in the case of Fernandez, because of her position as a senator, but it was in the case of former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, also facing similar charges, Graciana Peñafort, Fernandez' lawyer, told EFE.

Fernandez and 14 others were called to testify on Oct. 26, four days after the country's legislative elections, in which she's running for a Senate seat. The judge has also restricted them from leaving the country.

They are accused of covering up Iran's alleged role in the bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in Buenos Aires, AMIA, on July 18, 1994, which left 85 people dead.

The prosecutor who initially made the accusation, Alberto Nisman, alleged that this was done to protect growing trade relations between Argentina and the Islamic Republic and to clinch a grains-for-oil deal with Tehran.

Nisman was found shot dead in the bathroom of his apartment, in what many claimed to be a suicide, on the day he was scheduled to address the country’s Senate on the investigation.

In 2015, Nisman's accusations were dismissed as baseless and his findings proved to have major loopholes. Courts have repeatedly dismissed allegations of conspiracy and haven't found evidence to formally investigate the former president.

Fernandez, whose late husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, ordered the investigation into the AMIA bombing, has alleged that Jaime Stiusso, a former spy at the now-disbanded Intelligence Secretariat, fed Nisman false information to undermine her government.

She said she has been a victim of “an evident judicial prosecution” by the current government that has issued "indiscriminate complaints" against her. Despite these attacks, she said she does not fear a prison sentence.

Fernandez's government said Nisman was murdered by agents from the Intelligence Secretariat — a holdover institution from Argentina's Dirty War era —  which was dissolved immediately after his death. A report by Reuters, however, revealed that President Mauricio Macri's government wants to revive the agency, sparking fears of a return to authoritarian rule in the country.

Meanwhile, Nisman's former wife, Sandra Arroyo Salgado, insists that the prosecutor was killed by his colleague, Diego Lagomarsino, over a money dispute.


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