Name of bombed centre carved into man’s back

'AMIA' was cut into Lifschitz's skin

'AMIA' was cut into Lifschitz's skin

A lawyer who was a former investigator into the 1994 bombing of Buenos Aires’ Jewish community centre was kidnapped on Friday and tortured by men seeking information on the investigation.

Claudio Lifschitz, 43, said three hooded men threw him into the back of a lorry and put a bag over his head. They questioned him on details of the probe into the bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) building in which 85 people died and more than 200 were injured. Mr Lifschitz said his abductors tortured him, burning numbers into his arm and carving the letters “AMIA” into his back while asking about the investigation.

“I heard the noise of a blowtorch, and started to feel a burn on my left arm,” he said. “Then I felt them slicing my back with a knife.”

The investigation into the AMIA bombing — which Argentina, Israel and the US blame on Hizbollah — has dragged on for nearly 15 years with no indictments and widespread allegations of cover-ups and corruption.

Mr Lifschitz is the former legal secretary for Judge Juan Jose Galeano, who initially headed the investigation into local connections to the bombing. He testified that Mr Galeano mishandled the investigation, including allegedly paying a $400,000 bribe to a key witness. Mr Galeano was removed from the AMIA investigation in 2003 and from his position as a judge in 2005.

    Last updated: 10:27am, March 12 2009