Journalist covering prosecutor's death flees Argentina

Reporter who broke death of federal prosecutor flies home to Israel saying he fears for his safety from security agents.

    Pachter says that the Nisman case will not be solved because there are political interests in the way [Reuters]
    Pachter says that the Nisman case will not be solved because there are political interests in the way [Reuters]

    A journalist who broke the news of the death of an Argentine federal prosecutor investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre has fled the country.

    Damian Pachter of the English-language Buenos Aires Herald left the country on Saturday, the local journalism group Foro de Periodismo Argentino said.

    Pachter was the first journalist to report on the death of state prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was investigating the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires which killed 85 people.

    After landing in Israel at Tel Aviv airport on Sunday, Pachter told the the Reuters news agency that he had quit Argentina because he feared for his life.

    "I left because … of my news report regarding the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman who died in [an] unresolved way last week so I was the first who report on that and now I am kind of suffering the consequences of that," Pachter said.

    "They [the Argentina government] use their security forces to chase me and I just had to move fast and quick - as fast as I could in order to get into a plane and just leave the country right away."

    Newspaper statement

    In a statement, Pachter's employer said the journalist had not expressed his concerns to the newspaper and the organisation was ready to help him in any way possible.

    Nisman was found dead in his apartment late on January 18, with a gunshot wound to his head and a pistol by his side along with a single shell casing.

    He had been scheduled to appear before the Argentine National Congress the following day to answer questions about his allegation that President Cristina Fernandez conspired to derail his investigation of the attack.

    His death and a storm of conspiracy theories around it have rocked Argentina.

    Argentine courts have accused a group of Iranians of planting the 1994 bomb.

    Nisman had claimed that Fernandez opened a secret back channel with Iran to cover up Tehran's alleged involvement in the bombing and gain access to Iranian oil needed to help close Argentina's $7bn per year energy deficit.

    Fernandez's government called the accusation absurd.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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