By Damian Pachter, 20 December 2015
Suspicions about what happened on the night of January 18 are taking on a new meaning today, because this time the one disputing the official version was someone from the bowels of the government of former President Cristina Kirchner, who is even involved in the accusation from Prosecutor Alberto Nisman earlier this year.
The man, identified by the prosecutor Alberto Nisman as a fundamental part of the Iranian-Argentina connection, sent audio messages by different messaging services in which he not only calls into question the prosecutor Viviana Fein and her investigation into the death of Nisman but also one of the main defenders of Cristina Kirchner, the outgoing secretary of Security and acquaintance from Santa Cruz, Sergio Berni.
“Berni and Fein made them lie,” this man is heard saying, who has clear connections in Argentina Intelligence, according to local and foreign press. This and other phrases -sent via Whatsapp and a similar program called Telegram- between the alleged intelligence agent and a source which provided access to Infobae, reveals information that was unknown until now , and clues which shed light on the mysterious death of the prosecutor. Hence it follows that the Argentine government would have had a significant role in the fate of Nisman and its subsequent concealment.
The sentence in question points to the testimony made by Nisman’s bodyguards, specifically Armando Niz and Ruben Benitez, the ones who’d spent the most time in his service.
As appears from the conversation, this person continues to fear for his life. That’s why the identity of the two participants will be kept confidential.
The man who delivered the material is a man who lives abroad, more precisely in the United States, where he has been in exile for quite a long time. He is Argentina, and in the past belonged to one of the security forces.
“If I speak, the Gov’t falls. Impossible to be clearer,” said one of the messages. “I told you everything I know,” he said. Referring to those who until days ago ran the country, also he said: “The ones from the Government are caring for me this way for something.” Although he hinted that this situation could well change. “For now they need me. If something happens to me or I disappear, a huge mess is going to happen. They won’t know what to say to the people,” he said.
The phrases described above are part of a dialogue between him and the alleged intelligence agent after the dubious death of the head of the AMIA Unit (UFI). As he explained to Infobae, this message exchange was the result of an attempt on his part to get the alleged spy out of the country and bring him safely to the United States.
As revealed, communications were cut after he’d been threatened by the same person who tried to help. “He told me not to talk about it until after the elections, because otherwise they were going to invent a case against me,” he said.
According to this unpublished testimony, Fein and Berni influenced the statements that the bodyguards gave under oath in court, conditioning the investigation, corrupting it since its inception. It means that those who have the duty to uncover the truth did just the opposite.
Months ago, this informant offered to present all the material of the conversation to prosecutor Fein, but the clerk of the office in question, Bernardo Chirichella, refused. “He stopped me cold, he told me no. I wanted to send him the files,” he said.
“Look up the phone records (place to Fein’s office). Mine came from Washington and the one who answered said he was the clerk,” he challenged.
It is not the first difficulty that someone has faced who is interested in contributing to the case. In early December, former Nisman secretary Soledad Castro appeared before Fein to testify a second time. But her testimony culminated in a scandal that included the subsequent publication of a letter detailing the abuse she suffered from the justice officials.
There she was forced to clarify: “At no time have I withheld information from the investigation.” Meanwhile, the Nisman family has accused Chirichella of trying to hinder the investigations.
Nor was it the only time both Fein and Berni were caught up in the suspicion of concealment. In late June, journalist Jorge Lanata reported a striking dialogue between the two officials while forensic research was being carried out in Nisman’s apartment in Puerto Madero.
“Doctor (Fein), you think well, why don’t we go first to the bathroom to see,” Berni said.
“No, no, I was looking at a text that is written,” Fein said.
“He’s dying in there, or whatever, and we are wasting time,” Berni insisted, who also practiced medicine for years.
It was 02:13 am on January 19, Nisman body lay lifeless in the bathroom and the doctors had confirmed his death three hours earlier.
Many questions also surrounded the computer technician Diego Lagomarsino, who said he was the person who brought the Bersa .22 gun to Nisman. . According to Fein, that was the weapon that killed the prosecutor. However, examinations that were conducted scientifically demonstrated repeatedly that this gun leaves traces of gun powder, but not one atom of such material was found on Nisman’s hands.
“Unfortunately it tested negative,” Fein said as she released the results of the electron scan. “This does not rule out that he fired the gun,” she said.
The family has petitioned in several instances that Fein be remove and the case be transferred to the federal courts, but this measure was denied.
Testimony against Fein and her team are still piling up. The official version that Cristina Kirchner herself expounded on, when she wrote that the man who led the investigation into the bombing of the AMIA committed suicide a day before appearing in Congress, is now falling by the wayside. “Suicide causes, in all cases, first, shock, then questions. What led a person to make the terrible decision to take his life,” said the former president on January 19 .
However, the theory of “assassination” sustained by Federal Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado, who heads the complaint as the mother of Nisman’s daughers, imposes itself forcefully. This theory is now also held by people that according to public (and judicial) information worked for the Kirchners.
“No professional does that,” wrote the alleged spy in reference to his knowledge of the craft. “You are talking to one,” he concluded.
Perhaps the 12 hours during which no bodyguard was present in Nisman’s apartment, plus the footsteps later in the pool of blood; the contradictions of Cristina Kirchner, Berni and company, or unfulfilled desires by former cabinet chief Anibal Fernandez to throw Sara Garfunkel in prison have another explanation. One that must be answered before the court, along with the rest of the dark handlings behind the political scene regarding the Nisman case.
“I want to go. I’m dead here. The Govt wants to send me to Russia”, he said.
The future will depend largely on Mauricio Macri, the new Argentine president who has already announced the dismissal of the Memorandum of Understanding between Argentina and Iran.