La Nacion: Iran accord and Nisman case, two milestones

8 December 2015

Since it began, on July 18, 1994, the AMIA case synthesized the country’s worst political and judicial vices, and had two decisive milestones in Kirchnerism: the original investigation was pulled down and former federal Judge Juan José Galeano and former President Carlos Menem were prosecuted. President Cristina Kirchner was also denounced by prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who ended up dead. Eleven months after the gunshot that killed him, it still isn’t known if the prosecutor committed suicide or if it was a political killing to halt the case that threatened the highest people in power.

Nisman’s hypothesis was that in 2012 the President signed a secret deal with Iran to lift the arrest orders against former Iranian officials accused of planning the attack in exchange for resuming trade ties. That is, impunity in exchange for trade. Four days after filing this complaint, Nisman was found dead before going to Congress to explain his complaint. Since then, the inquest into his death, which was left to prosecutor Viviana Fein, has been erratic and inefficient. There has not yet been an official opinion that determined what happened.

The Government first encouraged the idea of suicide, but then threw suspicion on Antonio “Jaime” Stiuso, the powerful former agent of the SIDE who was functional to Kirchnerism for more than a decade until he became its enemy.

Nisman died along with his complaint. In record time, a series of court rulings from judges close to the government liquidated the accusation and archived it without an investigation. Judge Daniel Rafecas found that there were no elements to open a case. The judges of the Federal Court Jorge Ballestero and Eduardo Freiler upheld his decision and the Cassation prosecutor Javier de Luca shared the view that there was no crime. So without a prosecutorial push, the cause was sent to the file archives before even beginning. The march that was held on February 18 in the rain a month after his death to demand justice didn’t matter at all.

What survived Nisman was the deal with Iran. The judiciary has already declared it unconstitutional twice, but Kirchnerism fought for Cassation to validate it, without success. President-elect Mauricio Macri promised during the campaign to bury the agreement, while prosecutors are gathering documents to revive Nisman’s complaint, whose death remains a mystery.

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