Argentine Pres Was About to Be Arrested Before Prosecutor's Murder


In a story that’s quickly escalating from “Huh, that’s weird” to “Holy shit,” there is (or was) a draft of a warrant for the arrest of Argentina’s President, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. That arrest warrant was found at the home of Alberto Nisman, a prosecutor who recently died under mysterious circumstances. Yes. There’s the holy shit part.

Nisman was found dead on January 18, shot in the head with a .22 caliber pistol. As the New Yorker reported earlier this week, he’d recently told his assistant that according to a spy acquaintance, his life was in danger. Days before, he had accused President Kirchner of a particularly scandalous crime: concealing the involvement of Iranian government officials in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center. The bombing killed 85 people and injured hundreds more.

The bombing has never been solved, but Nisman believed that Iran helped plan the attack, while Hezbollah actually carried it out. He’d meticulously gathered proof that Kirchner and Héctor Timerman, the foreign minister, had secretly met with Iranian politicians in 2013 to attempt to make the arrest warrants against the Iranians go away. The prosecutor said according to intercepted phone calls, Kirchner had brokered a deal to get oil for Argentina in exchange for lifting the arrest warrants.

Nisman became obsessed with the case in recent years, and there was some speculation that his death could have been a suicide. However, an investigator was recently quoted as saying the bullet wound was “two inches behind his ear,” a rather tricky angle for a self-inflicted wound.

There’s also the fact that Nisman was scheduled to testify before Congress the next day about the accusations against her. And now, the New York Times reports, a draft of an arrest warrant for Kirchner has been discovered by investigators at Nisman’s luxury apartment. The Times also reports that after his death, two judges have refused to take up the case, “raising the possibility that his complaint could languish in Argentina’s legal system if another judge is not found to continue it.”

Kirchner, meanwhile, has denied any connection with Nisman’s death, blaming it on “rogue elements” within the country’s intelligence service who she says are trying to discredit her.

Yeah. Holy shit.

Kirchner attends a bill signing, January 30. Image via AP

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