Expert: Court Ruling Against Suspected Murder of Argentine Prosecutor Nisman Latest Tactic By Authorities to Stall Investigation
A Thursday ruling by an Argentine court regarding the suspected murder of federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman is just the latest in a string of attempts by authorities to stall the investigation, an expert and longtime observer of Argentine politics told The Algemeiner on Friday.
Eamonn MacDonagh was reacting to a Criminal Appeals Court ruling that there was not enough evidence to determine whether Nisman was murdered, thereby throwing the entire investigation into a state of limbo.
“At the moment, it’s not possible to determine, with reasonable evidence, that the death of prosecutor Natalio Alberto Nisman was due to the actions of a third party,” the court ruling reads.
On January 19, 2015 — hours before he was set to produce critical evidence that then-president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and other top officials helped cover up Iranian involvement in the 1994 AMIA Jewish Center bombing — Nisman was found dead in his apartment in Buenos Aires with a bullet wound to the head. Investigators first pointed to a possible suicide but subsequent evidence seemed to indicate he was murdered. His death is currently under investigation by a federal judge and a special prosecutor.
“The court’s decision is infuriating, but at this stage, not surprising,” MacDonagh said. “This case will continue to be kicked around the various levels of the judicial system unless and until there is a clear signal from the government that it wants the case to be seriously investigated.”
According to MacDonagh, the latest ruling is likely due to “elements sympathetic to the previous government encysted in the judiciary.” These elements, he said, are “dragging the case on forever with nonsensical technical arguments, which is just another way of guaranteeing impunity.”
Also peculiar to the investigation, MacDonagh said, is that according to his understanding of Argentine federal law, “There is no need to have proof of a crime having been committed. Nisman’s job and the circumstances of his death should have been enough from day one.”
In May, senior officials from the leading international Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center met with the newly-elected Argentine president, Mauricio Macri, concerning new developments surrounding the unsolved AMIA bombing. The Argentine president affirmed his commitment to renewing efforts towards solving the bombing and exposing Iranian involvement.
With Macri’s election, members of Argentina’s Jewish community have expressed hope that a closer look will also be given into Nisman’s death. MacDonagh, though, thinks otherwise. “At this stage, if the case isn’t going forward, it’s due to a lack of political will on the part of the government of Mauricio Macri,” he told The Algemeiner.
On Friday, federal prosecutor Ricardo Sáenz announced on Twitter — in response to a question about the court ruling — that he will be appealing Thursday’s decision, writing in Spanish, “Yes. We will be taking the case before the Supreme Court.”
Si. Vamos a llevar el caso ante la Corte Suprema https://t.co/NpSWyLbPnO
— Ricardo Sáenz (@saenzricardo) June 17, 2016
Despite the appeal, MacDonagh said, “Even if the outcome is positive, we will see many more months of delay.”