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Kirchner moves to disband spy agency after prosecutor's death

Demonstrators hold placards that read 'Justice' at a rally in Buenos Aires on January 21.
Demonstrators hold placards that read 'Justice' at a rally in Buenos Aires on January 21. AFP

Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner on Monday announced a draft bill to dissolve the domestic intelligence agency amid government suspicions rogue agents were behind the death of a prosecutor investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre.

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In her first public statement since the mysterious death of state prosecutor Alberto Nisman rocked Argentina, Kirchner called on Congress to dissolve the country’s current intelligence services.

She said the task of reforming the intelligence services was a “national debt” the South American country has carried since the return of democracy in 1983.

“The plan is to dissolve the Intelligence Secretariat and create a Federal Intelligence Agency," Kirchner said. Its leadership would be chosen by the president but subject to Senate approval.

Nisman, 51, was found dead on January 18 in his apartment bathroom, hours before he was scheduled to elaborate on explosive allegations that Kirchner shielded Iranian officials suspected in the largest terrorist attack in the country’s history, which killed 85 people and injured 300.

The prosecutor's death has produced anti-government protests and a myriad of conspiracy theories, ranging from suicide to the involvement of Iranian intelligence agents. 

In two letters this week, Kirchner suggested that Nisman’s death was a plot against her government possibly orchestrated by intelligence services.

Kirchner said it was “unreasonable” to think that her government would have shielded Iranian officials suspected in the attack.

There was nothing for Argentina to gain from a secret deal with Iran, she said. “It’s unreasonable to think our government could even be suspected of such a manoeuvre.”

Monday’s comments were the first time she has spoken publicly about it.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP, REUTERS)

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