Israel Urges Argentina to Continue Dead Prosecutor's Iran Probe

Israeli foreign ministry expresses 'sorrow' over Alberto Nisman's mysterious death, hours before testifying over alleged gov't cover-up.

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Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman
Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman
Reuters

Israel said it was saddened Monday by the death of the Argentine prosecutor investigating a bloody 1994 Jewish center bombing, and called on Argentina to continue his probe.

"The State of Israel expresses deep sorrow over the tragic death of the special prosecutor investigating the attack on the Jewish community in Argentina (AMIA), Alberto Nisman," foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in a statement.

"Nisman, a courageous jurist of high stature and fearless fighter for justice, worked with great determination to expose the attack's perpetrators and dispatchers," Nahshon said.

"The State of Israel hopes Argentina's authorities will continue Nisman's work, and take every possible effort to bring those behind the Argentina attacks to justice."

Nisman, 51, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head in his Buenos Aires apartment overnight, hours before he was to testify at a congressional hearing into cover-up allegations he leveled last week against Argentine President Cristina Kirchner.

Questions over possible foul play have already surfaced over Nisman's death; the veteran prosecutor had previously told of numerous death threats he had received in connection with his investigation.

He had since 2004 been investigating the 1994 van bombing of offices of the Argentine Jewish Charities Federation (AMIA).  

The blast killed 85 people and wounded 300 in the deadliest attack of its kind in the South American country.

Nisman had last week asked for an investigation into possible obstruction by Kirchner, and was due to speak at a congressional hearing Monday to provide evidence of his allegations.

The prosecutor has accused Iran of being behind the attack and said Kirchner hampered his inquiry to curry favor with the Islamic republic.

The government has categorically denied the accusations of a cover-up.

Argentina charges that Lebanese Shia terrorist group Hezbollah carried out the attack on orders from Iran, an accusation strongly denied by Tehran.