Argentina’s former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will go to trial on charges that she participated in the cover-up of Iranian officials involved in the 1994 terror attack in a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Ben Cohen reported for The Algemeiner Tuesday.
In a 26-page ruling by Judge Claudio Bonadio that was released on Monday, the former president and eleven former government officials were ordered to stand trial and were accused of the cover-up and abuse of power. One of those officials is ex-foreign minister Hector Timerman, who has been accused of finalizing the secret pact with Iran with a secret meeting in Syria facilitated by President Bashar al-Assad. The AMIA bombing was the worst terror attack in Latin America which killed 85 people and left hundreds wounded.
Bonadio’s ruling indicated that Kirchner, along with her colleagues, engaged in “secret and official negotiations” with senior Iranian officials that resulted in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Tehran in 2013. This secret pact would have allowed senior Iranian officials involved in the attack to be investigated in their own country, rather than in Argentina.
In December of 2015, after succeeding the Kirchner government, the government of then new Argentine President Mauricio Macri announced that it would not renew the agreement with Iran. In 2014, a court ruled that the pact was unconstitutional, but Kirchner appealed the decision.
Last year, Kirchner was elected senator in midterm elections and was granted parliamentarian immunity. While she cannot be arrested unless the senate strips away her immunity, she can go to trial. Bonadio has asked the senate to strip away Kirchner’s immunity, but the Argentine senate has not acted on this yet.
Kirchner’s trial has no date set yet and will be public.
Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who investigated the ties between Iran and the AMIA bombing, as well as a cover up by the previous Argentine government of Iran’s role in the attack, was found dead with a bullet wound to the head in January 2015. His death came hours before he was scheduled to appear before a closed session of the Argentinian Congress. Before his death, Nisman drafted arrest warrants for then President Kirchner and Foreign Minister Timerman.
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