Argentine President Cristina de Fernandez Kirchner
The Buenos Aires Herald (The Herald) broke news today that President Cristina de Fernandez Kirchner had been charged by an Argentine Prosecutor with a cover up of the 1994 AMIA Jewish Center, “Prosecutor Pollicita charges President CFK in AMIA cover-up case.” The Herald reported:
Federal Prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita has requested to investigate President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman in a case involving an alleged cover-up of Iran’s role in the 1994 AMIA bombing.
Giving a green light to a complaint first filed by now later AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, Pollicita presented the report before Judge Daniel Rafecas.
Ruling Victory Front (FpV) lawmaker Andrés Larroque, social leader Luis D’Elía, head of the political group Quebracho Fernando Esteche, ex judge Héctor Yrimia and Allan Bogado have been also charged.
Pollicita’s presentation does not involve an inquiry of the defendants.
Judge Rafecas, who was on leave till February 20, has decided to resume duties returning to court to address Pollicita’s request.
When we posted the breaking news story on February 3rd about the discovery of draft arrest warrants in the trash of the late Jewish Prosecutor Alberto Nisman for Argentine President and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, we noted that Ms. Cristina de Fernandez Kirchner was conveniently away in China on a state visit seeking funding of critical infrastructure. She also was caught on email mocking the pronunciation of her Chinese hosts. Not very politick. But then Ms. Kirchner is a bit of a drama queen reminiscent of Evita Peron. The New York Times account of the February 3rd discovery cited an Argentine analyst saying:
“It would have provoked a crisis without precedents in Argentina,” said Sergio Berensztein, a political analyst, about the impact of the arrest requests if they had been issued. He noted that previous legal cases had shaken Argentina’s political establishment, but he emphasized that this case involved a request to arrest a sitting president.
“It would have been a scandal on a level previously unseen,” Mr. Berensztein said.
Given today’s news, perhaps Mr. Berenztein’s comments may be a foretelling of what may follow with the return or Judge Rafecas after January 20th.
The charges brought against Ms. Kirchner were based on the legacy of the complaint filed and draft arrest warrants found in the trash of the late Jewish prosecutor Alberto Nisman, whom many now presume may have been “suicided” on January 18th at his apartment in Buenos Aires. Sebastian Rotella in a recent ProPublica article noted the wide ranging skepticism that Nisman’s alleged suicide citing the sinister history in Argentina. Rotella had both interviewed Nisman and a shadowy Brazilian in Sao Paulo who may have been involved with the Iranian perpetration of the 1994 AMIA Jewish center blast. His comment:
The Nisman case inspires a similar mix of sadness, disgust and frustration. Argentines have been overwhelmed by lies over the years. No matter what the investigation of his death concludes, a lot of people probably won’t believe it.
The prosecutor has become another victim of a massacre that remains shamefully unsolved. Another victim of a labyrinth that leads not to justice, but to new labyrinths.
Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado speaking before Argentine Senate Feb 12, 2015
Source: Reuters /Matia Lynch
Rotella’s comments were reflected in Congressional testimony Thursday by Nisman’s ex-wife, Argentine Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado, who suggested that an international tribunal investigate the probe. Deutsche Welle reported:
Let’s let justice take its course, don’t continue politicizing a case in which so much is still unresolved,” she said. “In my own name and that of my daughters, I ask the national public defenders’ office to consider … the possibility of taking the case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).”
Given the outstanding 2007 Interpol red tag arrest warrants against Iranian officials, we had suggested that relief might also be pursued through the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. Whether through the corrupt Argentine judiciary, the IACHR or the ICC, justice for Nisman, his ex-wife their two daughters and hundreds of Argentine victims of the AMIA bombing may be doubtful given the corruption of the judiciary in Argentina. It may never approach the aphorism of Sun Tzu, “the wheels of justice grind slowly, but grind fine”.