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April 3, 2012 8:32 am

Argentina to Try Ex-President Over Jewish Center Attack Probe

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A banner commemorating the bombings of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires and the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center. Photo: Pablo D. Flores.

An Argentine judge on Friday ordered the country’s former President Carlo Menem to stand trial for obstruction of justice in the investigation of the 1994 bombing of Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and wounded some 300 others, Israel Hayom reported.

Prosecutors have alleged that Tehran planned and financed the bombing, which was carried out by Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. However, they now suspect that during the Menem administration Argentine intelligence services and security forces helped to cover up evidence tying local accomplices to the attackers.

In 2009, Menem, who is now 81, was charged with concealing and tampering with evidence, but he was never tried. At the time of the bombing, Menem was serving his first term as president; he currently serves in Argentina’s senate for the Rioja province. If found guilty, he could be dismissed from his post, but his fellow senators would have to impeach him before he can be sentenced to prison.

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