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English version of prosecutor Nisman's death

The federal prosecutor Natalio Alberto Nisman was found dead in his apartment
The federal prosecutor Natalio Alberto Nisman was found dead in his apartment Fuente: Archivo
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21 de mayo de 2015  • 11:33

The investigation related to the death of the prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was investigating the AMIA bombing and had accused the president Cristina Kirchner of covering up Iran, is full of questions. The main enigma is still whether the prosecutor's death was a suicide, an induced suicide or a homicide.

Nisman's ex-wife, and mother of his two daughters, the judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado, unveiled the results of an investigation carried out by her team of experts. She is a complainant in the case. Arroyo Salgado said that, according to her expertise, Nisman "was killed" and questioned the official investigation, which points to a suicide and is in charge of the prosecutor Viviana Fein.

The board of medical experts summoned by the prosecutor in order to reach an agreement between the complainant and the official experts concluded that there is no evidence that Nisman was murdered. But the experts on the part of Nisman's family presented their report and sustained that Nisman did not commit suicide.

As regards Nisman's complaint, prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita has officially required to investigate the President after Nisman's death. But Judge Daniel Rafecas has dismissed the petition. The Federal Chamber also dismissed the complaint against Cristina Kirchner. Finally, the judges that belong to the Courtroom I of the Criminal Cassation Court stated the same and the investigation was closed.

A month after Nisman's death, thousands of demonstrators marched through Argentina in tribute to the prosecutor. The demonstration, which was repudiated by the government, was summoned by prosecutors and Nisman's relatives.

As regards Nisman's complaint, prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita has officially required to investigate the President after Nisman's death. But Judge Daniel Rafecas has dismissed the petition. The Federal Chamber also dismissed the complaint against Cristina Kirchner.

THE ENIGMAS OF THE CASE

Diego Lagomarsino, one of Nisman's collaborators, who lent the prosecutor the gun that fired the fatal shot, claimed that Nisman had told him that he needed the gun because he feared for his daughters' safety. Lagomarsino added that the prosecutor had told him that he did not intend to use the gun. According to his version, Nisman did not trust their bodyguards.

Another key figure is the former spy Stiuso. The Government points to Stiusso as the instigator of the prosecutor's death. He was summoned to testify because some telephone calls were detected between his telephone and Nisman's telephone hours before the tragic ending. Stiuso claimed that he did not answer those calls and that he was not involved in the complaint against the President.

The first days of the investigation into the death of the federal prosecutor left many unanswered questions. The prosecutor Fein said that the preliminary results of the autopsy indicated that there was no sign of a third party being involved in the episode, which leads investigators to a suicide. However, Fein stated from the beginning of the case that she did not rule out instigation to suicide.

Later, some elements generated suspicion on a possible homicide, such as the absence of gunpowder residues on Nisman's hand and the attitude of his bodyguards, who did not inform immediately to their chiefs that the prosecutor did not answer the phone calls.

At the beginning, the President only expressed herself through the social networks. First, she endorsed the suicide theory. "What was it that led a person to make a terrible decision and take his life?," she wrote in Facebook. However, two days later, she favored the hypothesis of a suicide. "The real operation against the government was the prosecutor's death after accusing the President." The government takes aim at the intelligence agent Antonio "Jaime" Stiuso, who worked close to Nisman, and accuses him of having the intention of smearing the "kirchnerismo".

Moreover, the journalist Damián Pachter, who worked for Buenos Aires Herald and credited with being the first to report Nisman's death through Twitter, left Argentina saying he had received threats and was being followed.

The death of the prosecutor that filed a complaint against the President

On January 18th, the federal prosecutor Natalio Alberto Nisman was found dead in his apartment, in Puerto Madero neighborhood, hours before a Congressional hearing, where he was set to provide details on the criminal complaint against the President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Nisman had requested a preliminary statement from the President. He accused her of agreeing not to punish Iran in relation to the investigation of the 1994 AMIA bombing, an attack where 85 people were killed.

Judicial sources told LA NACION that, on Sunday afternoon, Nisman's family tried to contact him but he did not answer the phone. His mother went to the 13th floor in Le Parc tower, where her son lived. She knocked at the door but nobody answered. She could not enter the apartment because she did not know the electronic access code. So, she tried to get into the apartment through the service door but failed again since a key was in the lock on the other side. A locksmith was called to open it.

When they finally could open the door, they found Nisman shot dead; a bullet wound to the head. The body was in the bathroom.

The prosecutor, who was in charge of the investigation of the AMIA case, had claimed that the President Cristina Kirchner and her foreign minister, Héctor Timerman, should be investigated. They are accused of covering up Iran in relation to the AMIA bombing and also of "creating the innocence" of the Iranian former officials involved in the attack.

The preliminary statement request was extended to the congressman and chief of La Cámpora, Andrés Larroque; as well as to the "piquetero" leader, Luis D'Elía; the chief of Quebracho group, Fernando Esteche; a former instructing judge that worked for the former SIDE, Héctor Yrimia, and an eminent intelligence agent that works for the Head of State.

The legal charge includes phone tapping that would reveal that the President called a trustworthy agent of the former SIDE or Larroque and they informed D'Elía or Esteche about those orders. Also, D'Elía told the alleged Iranian agent Alejandro Yussuf Khalil, who, in turn, called Mohsen Rabbani, one of the fugitives of the attack, in Iran.

According to Nisman's complaint, Cristina Kirchner agreed not to accuse Teheran in order to being able to buy cheap oil in exchange for grains. For that purpose, she agreed to a red herring where local groups are accused. In this way, they would create Iran's innocence in relation to the terrorist attack.

Traducción: Ángela Atadía de Borghetti

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