Last week, the Argentine Court of Cassation formally archived the January complaint filed by prosecutor Alberto Nisman – days before he was found dead – accusing President Cristina Kirchner, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and a group of pro-government activists of attempting to negotiate impunity for the alleged Iranian masterminds of the 1994 bombing against the AMIA Jewish community center that killed 85 people. The three-judge panel accepted the opinion from prosecutor Javier De Luca not to pursue accusations that President Kirchner had conspired to shield the Iranian suspects. De Luca is a member of a pro-government activist organization within the Argentine judicial branch, called “Legitimate Justice”. The Cassation court does not reexamine the facts of the case but rather they are only competent for verifying interpretation of the law.
Nisman’s complaint was appealed to the Cassation court by Germán Moldes, the prosecutor from the Federal Appeals Court who said De Luca was going to “bury” it because of his activist loyalty to the government. The newspaper La Nacion reports that observers believe the decision formulated by the Cassation court – the last instance before the Supreme Court of the Nation – does not constitute res judicata, meaning the case can be reopened at a later date if new evidence is presented.
While Nisman’s 2015 criminal complaint against Kirchner has been archived, many international bodies are still calling for a transparent investigation into Nisman’s death, citing the numerous individuals and groups we referenced in last week’s blog post.
Among those who are criticizing the investigation are Nisman’s ex-wife, Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado. Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal detailed the discrepancies between the official investigation and the probe conducted by Judge Arroyo Salgado.
“I have no doubt that this wasn’t a suicide,’’ says Judge Arroyo Salgado. “Not because I’m capricious, but because the two forensic doctors told me that this was a homicide.”