ARGENTINA

Kirchner 'formally accused' in cover-up of 1994 bombing

Raul Ferrari, AFP I Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner greets supporters after a press conference in Buenos Aires on February 11, 2015.

Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner was formally accused on Friday of playing a role in a cover-up relating to Iran's alleged involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre that killed 85 people, prosecutors said.

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Attorney General Alejandra Gils Garbo on Friday named a new team of three prosecutors and a coordinator to take over the politically charged case.

She said the new team comprised "prosecutors who have demonstrated their integrity and bravery on many occasions".

The accusations now go to the judge in the case, Daniel Rafecas, to decide whether to call Kirchner to make a statement.

The move advances the case against Kirchner that was being pursued by late prosecutor Alberto Nisman before he died mysteriously on the eve of testifying against her before congress.

Nisman was found dead in mysterious circumstances on January 18, a day before he was due to face questions over his 289-page complaint against the president and her foreign minister, Hector Timerman.

In a 61-page document, prosecutors said they saw sufficient evidence to press ahead with Nisman’s allegations against Kirchner in the more than 20-year-old case.

“An investigation will be initiated with an eye toward substantiating ... the accusations and whether those responsible can be held criminally responsible,” said a document published by state prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita.

It is still not known whether Nisman killed himself, as an intitial investigation found, or was murdered.

Kirchner has branded Nisman's accusations that she conspired to whitewash his investigation into the bombing “absurd”. She says he was murdered by rogue intelligence agents who used the prosecutor to accuse her and then killed him when he was no longer needed.

Nisman's death has shocked Argentina ahead of October’s presidential election and has undermined Kirchner's credibility.

She is constitutionally barred from running for a third consecutive term.

(FRANCE 24 with AP and AFP)
 

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