Alberto Nisman, the Argentine federal prosecutor who was found dead last month with a gunshot wound to the head a day before his scheduled testimony against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and other officials, had already drafted an arrest warrant for the president, according to investigators looking into his death. They found a draft of the arrest warrant in a garbage can at the late prosecutor’s Buenos Aires home, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
The warrant accused Kirchner of attempting to cover up for Iranian officials allegedly linked to the 1994 car bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) that killed 85 people and wounded 300 -- the bloodiest attack on Jewish civilians since World War II. Nisman and a colleague accused the Iranian government of ordering the bombing and Lebanon-based extremist group Hezbollah, a close ally of Iran, of carrying it out. A copy of the draft, dated June 2014, can be seen in Spanish here, via Clarin, a Buenos Aires newspaper.
Nisman had already charged high-ranking members of the Iranian government -- including former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani -- and Hezbollah with the crime in 2006. In 2013, Kirchner established a joint investigation into the bombing with Iranian officials, but Nisman said the move was a coverup and way to secure a trade deal with the oil-rich nation. He alleged that Kirchner would ensure that the "truth commission" would clear the Iranian bombing suspects in exchange for the trade deal. He also implicated Foreign Minister Hector Timerman in the coverup. Timerman is Jewish, as was Nisman.
Nisman was found dead on Jan. 18 in his locked apartment lying next to a 22-caliber pistol. Investigators initially said it appeared nobody else was present at the time of his death, although an official report has not yet been issued.
Within days, Kirchner said she did not believe Nisman killed himself and hinted that it could have been former state intelligence officers that killed him a day before his testimony in order to suggest a link between his death and her office. Last week she ordered Argentina’s intelligence service dissolved and a new service formed that will reportedly be more heavily monitored.