Argentine court dismisses President Kirchner case

Court upholds decision to dismiss case against Cristina Kirchner over the 1994 bombing of Jewish centre in Buenos Aires.

    Argentine court dismisses President Kirchner case
    Nisman had accused Fernandez of covering up the roles of several Iranian officials in the bombing of a Jewish community centre [AFP]

    An Argentine appeals court has upheld the decision to dismiss a case against President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner on accusations that she shielded Iranian officials from prosecution over a 1994 Jewish centre bombing.

    The court rejected on Thursday an appeal from prosecutors who sought to revive the case against Kirchner being brought by their late colleague Alberto Nisman before he mysteriously died in January.

    The federal appeals chamber ratifies the decision by Judge Daniel Rafecas to reject prosecutor Nisman\'s accusation

    Justice ministry statement

    "The federal appeals chamber ratifies the decision by Judge Daniel Rafecas to reject prosecutor Nisman's accusation," said a justice ministry statement.

    Nisman had accused Kirchner of making a deal with Iran to cover up the alleged roles of several Iranian officials wanted in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre that killed 85 people, the deadliest in Argentina's history. 

    In a 2-1 decision, the 1st Chamber of the Federal Court upheld a February decision by federal Judge Rafecas to dismiss the case.

    That decision was appealed by prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita, who argued that a full investigation, including testimony of top officials, was necessary to evaluate the merits of the accusations.

    'Contrary to the law'

    In Thursday's ruling, Judge Jorge Ballestero wrote that there was "a notable disparity between what is claimed and what is proven".

    Dissenting Judge Eduardo Farah made the opposite argument, saying that opening an investigation was the only way to determine what was true.

    The decision can be appealed to the Criminal Appeals Court.

    Prosecutor Nisman levelled the allegations against Kirchner on January 14, and four days later he was found shot dead in his bathroom. Nisman's death, which has captivated the South American nation, has yet to be solved.

    Nisman said Kirchner made the secret pact in exchange for favourable trade deals with Iran. His 289-page investigation, which was published after his death, is based on wire-taps of administration officials allegedly talking about the deal.

    Fernandez has strongly denied Nisman's allegations, and Iran long has denied any role in the bombing.

    Still, fallout from Nisman's death has hurt Kirchner's popularity as her governing party prepares for elections in October. Kirchner, constitutionally barred from running for a third term, has yet to pick a successor candidate.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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