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Argentina's ex-president Kirchner faces fresh probe over 1994 bombing

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

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-12-30

An Argentine appeals court ordered a new investigation Thursday into charges that ex-president Cristina Kirchner obstructed a probe into a 1994 bombing that killed 85 people at a Jewish community centre.

She is accused of conspiring to protect high-ranking Iranian officials suspected of ordering the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah to carry out the attack.

Kirchner, Argentina's president from 2007 to 2015, allegedly received oil and trade benefits from Iran in exchange for signing off on a deal that enabled the suspects to avoid prosecution.

The accusations were first leveled by the late prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found dead in mysterious circumstances the day before he was due to present his 289-page report against the president and her foreign minister, Hector Timerman to Congress.

Iran has denied involvement in the attack. Kirchner likewise denies the allegations against her.

Kirchner branded Nisman accusations “absurd” and stated that he was murdered by rogue intelligence agents who used the prosecutor to accuse her and then killed him when he was no longer needed.

Four lower courts had thrown the case out on grounds there was no evidence a crime had been committed.

Kirchner dogged by accusations

But the new decision reopens a murky case that has dogged Kirchner since her presidency, a day after she was charged in a separate corruption case.

The three judges also ordered the case be removed from the court of their colleague Daniel Rafecas and transferred to a randomly selected judge.

Rafecas threw out the original request to reopen Nisman's case, brought by the Delegation of Argentine Jewish Associations (DAIA).

Bombing and murder still unsolved

The unsolved bombing at the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires was the deadliest terror attack in Argentine history.

It still haunts the country two decades later.

No one has been convicted for the bombing, which wounded 300 people.

Nisman's death also still remains unsolved nearly two years on.

The case was transferred in September to federal investigators, who are now tasked with determining whether it was a suicide or homicide.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2016-12-30

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