Daily Israel Report

Did Argentinean President Cover Up Jewish Center Bombing?

Former Argentine President Carlos Menem is accused of interfering in the investigation of the 1994 Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 10/1/2009, 9:58 PM / Last Update: 10/1/2009, 10:24 PM

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Former President of Argentina Carlos Menem was charged Thursday with obstructing justice in an investigation into the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires.

Menem, 78, served as president of Argentina from 1989 to 1999. He is accused of covering up the possible involvement of an Argentine businessman of Syrian origin like Menem. Menem's brother Munir is a suspect in the case as well.

Menem appeared in court in connection with the alleged cover-up in March. At the time, he refused to respond to the prosecution's questions.

Eighty-five people were murdered in the AMIA bombing, and hundreds more were wounded. Two years earlier, a bombing at the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires killed 29 people.

The bombing remains unsolved to this day. Argentinean investigators have accused Iran of directing the bombing, and in 2007 obtained international arrest warrants for several Iranians. In response,  Iranian officials accused Argentina of carrying out the bombing in order to implicate Iran.

Menem has faced charges before for alleged corruption during his term as Argentina's president. He has been accused of exporting arms to Ecuador and Croatia in the 1990s, and of planning a 1995 explosion at a munitions plant in order to cover up the illegal sales. He has also been charged with taking bribes and embezzling funds.