Key week for investigation into death of Alberto Nisman

This is anticipated to be a significant week for the troubled investigation into the death last January of prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Today, Nisman’s ex-wife, Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado, who is representing his family in the inquest, has gone before Judge Fabiana Palmaghini to demand the removal of prosecutor Viviana Fein from the official investigation. In the hearing, where Fein was permitted to defend herself, Arroyo accused the prosecutor of “lack of objectivity, legality and neutrality” in what many observers have called an unusually slow and error-ridden investigation.

Judge Arroyo’s own team of forensic investigators conducted an autopsy and investigation of the crime scene and concluded in a public report that Nisman was murdered by a gunshot to the head while he was kneeling in the bathroom where he was found, and then his body was repositioned against the doorway from the inside to appear as a suicide. The evidence of that report contradicted nearly all the key points of Fein’s official autopsy report, which had been released earlier and seemed inclined to uphold the theory of suicide. Fein has asked to set up a joint medical team to resolve the differences between the two autopsies, which Arroyo has rejected. Judge Palmaghini will have to decide on the removal of Fein by April 10, and might issue a decision as early as today.

Meanwhile, Clarin reports that Nisman gave his mother and sister a digital file of information that he asked them to save before his death. It is not known exactly what information is on the file and, because the family is worried, they are speaking to an attorney to figure out the best way to deliver the file. According to the report, there is no copy of the digital file, not even Judge Arroyo has a copy nor has she examined its contents. Nisman had said that the January 15 complaint he filed against President Cristina Kirchner and others revealed only part of the evidence he held. He was found dead hours before he was to speak on his case against the government before a Congressional committee.