Former Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez indicted for Iran terror bomb cover-up

08 December, 2017, 13:53 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Cristina Fernandez was president of Argentina from 2007 to 2015

A federal judge on Thursday ordered the arrest of former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez on charges of treason and covering up for alleged Iranian terrorists involved in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center here. The judge's request for stripping her of immunity needs to be analyzed by the Senate and must be endorsed by two-thirds of the Senators present to the session. It was one of the continent's deadliest terror attacks.

Her political clout has since faded with the victory of center-right President Mauricio Macri in elections later that year, but the populist firebrand now seeks a comeback as leading the opposition against Mr. Macri.

Judge Carlos Bonadio also ordered the arrest and detention of several other officials who served in Kirchner's two administrations, including former Foreign Minister Hector Timmerman, who was given house arrest due to his health, and former presidential secretary Carlos Zanini.

Fernandez and Timerman have previously denied wrongdoing.

The attack - which followed a 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people - devastated Argentina's Jewish population, the largest in Latin America at about 300,000 people.

Kirchner's leftist alliance in the Senate has a total of 32 seats in the 72-seat Senate, but only around a dozen senators are in the Kirchner camp.

The judge considered "necessary" to arrest the former President claiming that "her contacts could hinder the case", and because she is a defendant in another case.

Alberto Nisman was appointed special prosecutor by Kirchner's husband, then president Nestor Kirchner, and he quickly showed his investigation would be far-reaching.

Bonadio also charged intelligence chief Oscar Parrilli, former Treasury Prosecutor Angelina Abbona and several other former officials, but said they could remain free.

Several prominent members of her former government have been detained on corruption charges in recent weeks, including ex-public works minister Julio De Vido and Amado Boudou, Kirchner's vice-president from 2011-2015.

Courts initially rejected Nisman's indictment, but Argentina's top criminal court past year accepted a request by a coalition of Jewish associations to re-examine the charge against Fernandez, Timerman and other officials originally made by Nisman on January 14, 2015.

Argentina and Israel accuse Iran and Lebanon's "Hezbollah" of involvement in the AMIA bombing.

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