Argentine prosecutor dismisses claims against president

Prosecutor rejects accusations that President Kirchner helped shield Iranian officials allegedly behind a 1994 bombing.

    An Argentine prosecutor has dismissed accusations against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner that she helped shield Iranian officials allegedly behind the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre, effectively putting an end to a case that had exposed deep divisions in the South American nation.

    Javier De Luca, prosecutor before the Court of Appeals, said on Monday that there was not enough evidence in late prosecutor Alberto Nisman's investigation to warrant a probe.

    "There has been no crime," De Luca wrote in his decision, echoing two previous court decisions.

    OPINION: The mysterious 'martyrdom' of Alberto Nisman

    The case was rejected by a federal judge in February and then thrown out on appeal by the Federal Appeals court.

    De Luca's decision not to present the case to the next level of appeals court means it has effectively reached the end of the line.

    "It is definitely over as far as the legal procedures go ... unless the opposition can somehow find some legal loophole," said Al Jazeera's Daniel Schweimler, reporting from Buenos Aires.

    "But politically, I think it is still very much alive - The accusations are still flying from one side to the other."

    Nation split on case

    As the drama played out over the last three months, each court decision has been greeted by supporters and detractors of Kirchner's administration accusing the other side of using Nisman's death for political reasons.

    "The case underscored the idea that there is no rule of law," Martin Bohmer, a law professor at the University of Buenos Aires, told the AP news agency.

    "The display of divisions and fear sent all the wrong messages."

    Days before he was found dead on January 18, Nisman accused Kirchner and other top administration officials of helping cover up the alleged role of Iranian officials wanted in the bombing of the Jewish community centre.

    The Listening Post - Argentina: Prosecution from behind the grave?

    The president has strongly denied the allegations and Iran has long denied the involvement in the bombing, which killed 85 people.

    The cause of Nisman's death has not been confirmed. Investigators say they are looking at the possibility of homicide or suicide. Friends and family of Nisman reject the idea that he took his own life.

    While Kirchner has been vindicated in court, her administration has struggled to confront fallout from Nisman's death and the president's popularity has eroded, according to several polls.

    Kirchner is constitutionally barred from running for a third term in October's election.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera And AP


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