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LATIN AMERICA

Argentinean court closes Nisman’s case against Kirchner for good

Judges reject last appeal as federal prosecutor’s death remains a mystery

Carlos E. Cué
Prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
Prosecutor Alberto Nisman.MARCOS BRINDICCI (REUTERS)

After Alberto Nisman died on January 18, several federal prosecutors vowed to go forward with his criminal complaint against Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, whom he accused of covering up an attack on the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994, which left 85 people dead.

Although they pushed until the end, the case has now been closed for good. The Federal Criminal Cassation Court unanimously rejected prosecutor Germán Moldes’ appeal, bringing a long judicial journey to an end.

The complaint, which at first put the Kirchner administration in a serious bind and had significant international impact, has little by little been losing ground. During this time, the courts have handed down several tough sentences regarding the content of the complaint whose arguments they had considered weak, though prosecutors defended it until the last minute.

The complaint, which at first put the Kirchner administration in a bind, has been losing ground

“There is no sign of cover-up operations or hidden motives because everything is out in the open,” read the final sentence from the three judges.

Nisman claimed that the Argentinean government had signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran that included covering up evidence about the participation of high-level Iranian officials in the 1994 attack.

But while this case has come to an end, Nisman’s death is far from being solved.

The prosecutor in the investigation has pushed back the medical team’s final report on whether he committed suicide or was murdered. At this time, everything suggests that forensic experts will declare it a suicide although there is some disagreement among the professionals, and Nisman’s ex-wife’s legal team insist that he was murdered.

More information
Cover-up complaint against President Kirchner suffers major blow
Why a dead Argentinean prosecutor has gone from hero to villain
Prosecutor investigating Argentinean president found dead

The experts will probably not be able to deliver a unanimous report and the case will remain a mystery for Argentineans, most of whom – according to the polls – believe the prosecutor was killed.

Meanwhile, the justice system remains in the political spotlight in Argentina after a fight erupted between the Kirchner administration and the Supreme Court.

The administration and its supporters want 97-year-old veteran judge Carlos Fayt to retire. Kirchner’s camp claims that Fayt can no longer fulfill his duties and they are pressuring him to prove his competence or resign. Fayt was expected to attend the court’s meeting today but stayed home, fanning suspicions that he can no longer carry on in his role and thus giving the government an incentive to push harder.

Only four justices are currently on the Supreme Court bench after one member retired. The government has yet to reach an agreement on his replacement.

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