Second prosecutor revives Amia case against Kirchner


Tensions are growing in Argentina between President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and parts of the judiciary as the fallout from the eerie death of a state prosecutor continues to grip the nation.

The prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, was found dead with gunshot wounds last month in his flat. He died hours before he was due before parliament to explain his accusations that Mrs Kirchner had conspired to derail his probe into the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people died.

Investigators are still trying to establish whether Mr Nisman shot himself or was killed. Many Argentines believe the government had a hand in the events surrounding his death.

But Mrs Kirchner has cast suspicion on a rogue spymaster recently ousted from Argentina's main intelligence agency, an aide to Mr Nisman, and even a media organisation with which she has long been at odds.

Last week, the prosecutor assigned to review Mr Nisman's criminal complaint against Mrs Kirchner, Gerardo Pollicita, revived the case by seeking to charge her with shielding Iranians from accusations that they had planned the 1994 bombing.

Nisman claimed secret talks with Iran took place

In his complaint, Mr Nisman had described secret negotiations between alleged go-betweens for the Argentine and Iranian governments. Mr Pollicita believed the evidence presented by Mr Nisman was sufficient for the case to progress, legal experts said. A judge, Daniel Rafecas, will now investigate. Mr Rafecas may still end up dismissing the case or it could advance to a trial.

Mrs Kirchner's supporters said Mr Pollicita's move was part of a judicial coup against the government, heightening longstanding tensions between the executive and the judicial branches. Mrs Kirchner did not refer directly to the revival of Mr Nisman's case, but posted a message on Facebook saying: "We'll leave the hate, the insulting, the slurring and the slander to them." The government also reacted angrily to a march planned by a group of prosecutors in Mr Nisman's honour.

Argentina's attorney general has named a team of four prosecutors that will take over the investigation into the bombing of the Jewish centre, which Mr Nisman had led for a decade. He accused Iran of planning the attack and Hizbollah of executing it.

But few of the victims' families believe the case will ever be resolved. "I stopped believing in justice many years ago," said Sofía Guterman, 73, whose 28-year-old daughter was among the 85 killed.

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