Alberto Nisman
Alberto Nisman Reuters

Alberto Nisman, the Argentine prosecutor who died mysteriously while pursuing a case against President Cristina Kirchner was assassinated, his ex-wife claimed Thursday, announcing the results of an unofficial probe commissioned by the family.

Nisman, who accused Kirchner of shielding Iranian officials from prosecution over the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center, "was killed," said Sandra Arroyo Salgado, a federal judge who is his ex-wife and mother of his two daughters, according to the AFP news agency.

Nisman was found dead in his bathroom of a gunshot wound to the head on January 18, on the eve of congressional hearings where he was due to present his accusations against Kirchner.

After his death was initially labelled a suicide, his family commissioned its own independent forensic investigation.

"Nisman didn't suffer an accident, he didn't commit suicide, he was killed. His death is an assassination of unknown proportions," Arroyo Salgado declared at a press conference, according to AFP.

Reading the conclusions of a nearly 100-page report produced by forensics experts hired by the family, she added, "We can only conclude that Nisman was the victim of a homicide, beyond a doubt."

Arroyo Salgado said the experts had concluded that Nisman's body was moved, which contradicts the version of events presented by the prosecutor leading the official inquiry, Vivian Fein.

Fein's team is investigating Nisman's death as "suspicious" in an ongoing inquiry.

She has said the prosecutor's body was found lying on the bathroom floor blocking the door and that no one entered until a judge and forensic experts arrived.

"Unfortunately, the (official) autopsy drifted into partial, hasty and incorrect conclusions," said Arroyo Salgado, insisting the family's own probe had sought the "objective, scientifically verifiable truth."

It has been revealed that Nisman had drafted arrest warrants for Kirchner and for Foreign Minister Hector Timerman before he was found dead.

The charges drawn up by Nisman were subsequently endorsed by a new team of prosecutors, but a judge last week dismissed the case, indicating he believed no crime was committed. This week, the new prosecutors appealed the dismissal.

Since Nisman's death, suspicion has fallen on Kirchner's government of orchestrating his murder.

The president has suggested the prosecutor was manipulated by disgruntled former intelligence agents who killed him to smear her.