Draft of Arrest Warrant for Argentine President Fernández de Kirchner Discovered in Garbage of Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman
Alberto Nisman, the Argentine Special Prosecutor who was found dead in suspicious circumstance on January 18, drafted a request for an arrest warrant for President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman in June 2014, Argentine newspaper Clarin reported today.
The date is important because, after Nisman’s death, Fernández de Kirchner claimed that the Special Prosecutor had decided to request her arrest only recently, while he was on a visit to Europe. The president implied strongly that unnamed foreign powers were manipulating Nisman, who spent more than a decade in charge of the investigation into the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.
Nisman was found dead hours before he was due to appear before a congressional committee to accuse Fernández de Kirchner and Timerman of having fabricated the innocence of Iranian officials linked to the atrocity, in which 85 people were murdered, so as to pursue an “oil for grain” deal with the Tehran regime.
According to Clarin, among the documents discovered by police in Nisman’s garbage was a 26 page draft of the arrest warrant request. Both Fernández de Kirchner and Timerman have repeatedly denied the accusation that they were engaged in a cover-up on behalf of the Iranians.
For both leaders to be stripped of their immunity would have required a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Argentina’s legislature. Most political analysts agree that while such a vote would have been almost impossible to achieve, even debating the matter would have led to an unprecedented political crisis.
The revelations in Clarin came one day after Judge Ariel Lijo recused himself from pursuing the complaints against the president and the foreign minister on the grounds that doing so was beyond his jurisdiction. A second judge, Daniel Rafecas, appears to have followed Lijo, prompting speculation that no judicial official will be willing to take on the AMIA case.
Meanwhile, in another sign of the lack of urgency with which Argentine officials are treating Nisman’s death, Viviana Fein, the prosecutor in charge of the investigation into how he died, announced that she would be taking a vacation between February 18 and March 5.