Argentina president denounces prosecutor on Facebook just hours after his mysterious death
Cristina Kirchner on Jan. 20 issued a lengthy criticism of the Argentine prosecutor who accused her of a whitewash over the country’s worst ever terrorist attack, hours after he was found dead.
Alberto Nisman spent a decade investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires. In his report, which he had been due to present to a parliamentary committee on Monday, he said he had evidence from wiretaps showing that Kirchner had colluded with Iran to cover up the Islamic state’s responsibility for the attack, which killed 85 people. Iran has always denied being behind the bombing, and Kirchner’s government said his accusations were “ridiculous.”
On Sunday night, hours before he was to detail his findings, he was found dead, in the bathroom of his locked flat with a handgun by his side, in what appeared to be suicide. After thousands marched in his memory across Argentina, Kirchner published a 2,100-word response on Facebook to Nisman’s death, in which she attacked the prosecutor for “sidetracking” an investigation plagued by two decades of delays.
“In the case of the suicide [sic] of the prosecutor in charge of the AMIA case, Alberto Nisman, there is not only astonishment and unanswered questions, but also a story far too long, too heavy, too painful, and for all those reasons very sordid: the tragedy of the worst terrorist attack to hit Argentina,” she wrote.
She added: “I think that the most important thing is to warn that what he was trying to do with the case is what the lead judge did 21 years ago: sidetrack, lie, cover up and confuse.” She posed a series of rhetorical questions – asking why Nisman cut short his family holiday to return a week early and make the accusations against the president, and even whether it was not just mere coincidence that his flight back to Argentina was on the same day as the Charlie Hebdo marches in Paris. She didn’t make clear why this would be suspicious.
She also questioned why he had a .22 calibre handgun in his house when he was living in a high-security apartment with sophisticated entry systems, and 10 federal bodyguards assigned to him. It was not clear where the guards were at the time of his death.
Nisman’s family were reported yesterday to be telling friends that they did not believe he had committed suicide, and said that among the papers left on his desk they found a shopping list for his housekeeper the following day.