Argentina’s Kirchner says prosecutor killed in ‘operation’ against her

Kirchner contended that Nisman was killed to immerse her government in scandal

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Argentine President Cristina Kirchner charged Thursday that a prosecutor who died under suspicious circumstances did not commit suicide but instead was killed in an “operation” to implicate her government in a cover-up of a 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center.

Alberto Nisman, the lead prosecutor in the two-decade-old case, was found dead of a gunshot to the head in his home Sunday, the day before he was to go before a congressional hearing to accuse Kirchner of shielding Iranian officials implicated in the attack, which left dozens dead.

Investigators have said Nisman appeared to have committed suicide, but have not ruled out homicide or an “induced suicide.”

In a stunning post on her Facebook page, Kirchner contended that Nisman was killed to immerse her government in scandal after he had been “used” to publicly accuse her of involvement in the cover-up.

“I’m convinced that it was not suicide,” Kirchner said.

“Prosecutor Nisman’s charges were never in themselves the true operation against the government. They collapsed early on. Nisman did not know it and probably never knew it.

“The true operation against the government was the prosecutor’s death after accusing the president, her foreign minister, and the secretary-general of (her political faction) of covering up for the Iranians accused in the AMIA attack,” she said.

Kirchner offered no evidence to support her theory, and did not say who she thought was behind Nisman’s death.

Before his death, Nisman had filed a 280-page complaint charging that Kirchner had issued an “express directive” to shield a group of Iranian suspects in the bombing.

Nisman contended that the government had agreed to swap grain for oil with Tehran in exchange for withdrawing “red notices” to Interpol seeking the arrests of the former and current Iranian officials accused in the case.

The attack on the Buenos Aires headquarters of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association, or AMIA, was the deadliest terror strike in Argentina’s history.

Eighty-four people were killed and more than 300 injured when a van loaded with explosives was detonated in front of the building.

Since 2006, Argentine courts have demanded the extradition of eight Iranians, including former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former defense minister Ahmad Vahidi and Iran’s former cultural attache in Buenos Aires, Mohsen Rabbani, for the bombing.

But in 2013, Kirchner signed a memorandum of understanding with Tehran agreeing to set up a “truth commission” to investigate the bombing and allowing Argentine prosecutors to question the suspects in Iran.

The rapprochement was vehemently opposed at the time by Jewish community leaders, who charged it was “unconstitutional.”