La Nacion: Six months after the death of the prosecutor it is still not known how he died

By Paz Rodriguez Neill, 18 July 2015

Six months after the death of Alberto Nisman and researchers today still do not know what happened to him.

They have no concrete evidence able to today uphold the hypothesis of murder, they say. But neither do they believe it was a simple suicide. The hypothesis that best seems to fit is that Nisman shot himself, as is the opinion of the official experts, but that he did it for some reason which has not yet come to light. Possibly forced to do so.

The prosecutor Viviana Fein continues to say, however, that she does not rule out any hypothesis. Based on the fact that the results of some proof and evidence tests are still missing and that when she has them she will sign a judgment in which she will state whether, in her opinion, Nisman committed suicide or was murdered.

Meanwhile, the other file relating to this case is moving ahead in parallel: the investigation into alleged money laundering among the prosecutor’s circle of family and friends. Federal Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral had the phones of the defendants in this case tapped for 20 days, La Nacion was told. These include Nisman’s mother, Sara Garfunkel; his sister, Sandra Nisman; his former employee Diego Lagomarsino (owner of the weapon with which the prosecutor was found dead) and entrepreneur Claudio Picon, the owner of the Audi car which Nisman used and kept in his building. According to Picon, he lent it to him because they were friends. The researchers reported that they suspect that if Nisman was using undeclared funds, he could have used Picon’s companies to launder the money. However, they can not rule out that the money moved around by Nisman and his circle could have come, for example, from activities or an unknown inheritance of his mother’s. If so, the case would fall. At the request of the court, Garfunkel handed in this week a check of Picon’s for $ 200,000 that had been found in the department of Nisman.

The four defendants were heard, but investigators found nothing of interest for this case, as reported. This week the phone taps were lifted.

Meanwhile, the case investigating the death of Nisman has already accumulated 32 files (about 6400 sheets). The last thing to join the pile were the long witness accounts heard by the prosecutor this week from the criminology experts who worked on the case.

Fein summoned the officials for the the complaint and the defense of Diego Lagomarsino to question them further about on their reports. The conclusions of the complainant is very different from what the official experts and Lagomarsino say. The largest group said that there was no trace that there had been someone else with Nisman in the bathroom where he died; and that the prosecutor grabbed the gun with both hands and shot himself facing the mirror. But the complainant maintains that the prosecutor was kneeling and that someone killed him.

Now, with the statements of the experts in her hands, Fein will decide whether to convene another expert.

According to researchers, today the main evidence outstanding is:

-The final report of computer experts on computers and Nisman’s other technological devices. Experts already told the prosecutor that the strange use of pendrives on January 18, after his death, was an error that did not involve any human intervention.

-The final answers from Google and Yahoo investigating someone else who used Nisman’s PC that day, but at about 8 am. Fein wants to know from which place (what IP) this access occurred to confirm that it was not a remote access. At that time the computer connected to the Internet, reviewed three daily papers and the prosecutor’s mail account, and searched for the word “psychedelic” on Google. Until now they think this was a local access. This theory is supported by the images taken from the cameras of the building which showed that the daily newspaper only arrived at the door past 9 am, sources reported this week during the case. It is striking that he did not pick it up and only checked out the daily papers on internet.

-The report of the Banking Fraud Division on the crosses between pending calls. The researchers are surprised by the increase in crossed communications during the hours after Nisman’s death. They are yet to identify the real owners of some Nextel phones. Among those who spoke that day were Antonio Stiuso, former director of the SIDE who was close to Nisman, and who did not take his calls the day before his death. They are also analyzing the historical listings of crossed calls in January.

-Some witness statements, including those of the security detail guarding Le Parc.

-The repetition of the shot, as the complainant asked for several times but that the prosecutor did not say if she would reorder. To decide this, she asked the Salta laboratory working on the case how reliable the result of a new shot would be. They told her that they could not guarantee that this would specifically determine whether or not the weapon should have left traces of gunpowder in the hand of the prosecutor.

According to the timing being handled by the prosecution, before the end of October, the prosecutor may have her final opinion ready. They think they can finish gathering evidence in August. Then Fein will review the entire case. Writing her opinion could take another month.

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