Argentine president doubts Jewish prosecutor committed suicide

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez doubts that Alberto Nisman committed suicide but also says there's no proof he was murdered.

Ben Ariel ,

Alberto Nisman
Alberto Nisman

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said on Thursday that he doubts that Alberto Nisman, the Jewish prosecutor who died two days after accusing former president Cristina Kirchner of a cover up in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center, committed suicide.

At the same time, he insisted "there isn't a shred of proof" that Nisman was murdered as his family insists.

Nisman was appointed special prosecutor into the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) headquarters, which left 85 dead and 300 wounded.

On January 14, 2015, Nisman sued Kirchner, claiming that she and other officials of the government decided to “not incriminate” former senior Iranian officials and tried to “erase” their roles in planning the bombing of the AMIA Jewish center due to an agreement with Iranian officials.

Four days later, Nisman's body was found in his Buenos Aires apartment with a gunshot wound to the head, delivered at close range from a handgun found at his side.

After Nisman's death was initially labelled a suicide, his family – who insists he was murdered – commissioned its own independent forensic investigation.

In 2017, a federal judge in Argentina ruled that Nisman was murdered and did not commit suicide.

"I doubt that someone who was going through a euphoric moment could commit suicide, I don't know that. I'm allowing myself to doubt it," Fernandez, whose vice president is Kirchner, told Radio 10 on Thursday, as quoted by AFP.

Kirchner is facing accusations of treason and plotting a cover-up for signing a 2012 pact with Iran that would have allowed senior Iranian officials accused in the deadly attack to be investigated in their own country, rather than in Argentina.

In early 2013, Argentina's congress approved, at the request of the executive branch, an agreement with Tehran to form a truth commission to investigate the bombing.

Leaders of Argentina's Jewish community, which at 300,000 people is the largest in Latin America, criticized the accord. An Argentine court in 2014 declared the agreement to be unconstitutional.

Although he was cabinet chief under Kirchner's husband and predecessor as president, Nestor Kirchner, and initially held onto the post under Cristina Kirchner, the two fell out and Fernandez became a heavy critic of the then president.

The two have since made up and Fernandez, a criminal law professor, told Radio 10 that the cover-up case against Kirchner was "absurd."

In the Nisman case, he said "the only person harmed by the crime was Cristina."