Argentina Prosecutor Who Claimed Cover-Up Found Dead

Alberto Nisman found shot to death hours before set to testify
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Suggested by MrSoul
Posted Jan 19, 2015 9:18 AM CST
Argentina Prosecutor Who Claimed Coverup Found Dead
In this Dec. 17, 2014, photo, Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez waves during the Mercosur Summit in Parana, Argentina.   (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

(Newser) – A special prosecutor who accused Argentine President Cristina Fernandez of ordering impunity for Iranian suspects in the South American country's worst terrorist attack has been found shot dead. Alberto Nisman, who was set to testify today in a closed-door hearing, was found in his Buenos Aires apartment late yesterday, a federal prosecutor told Argentina's official news agency. "We can confirm that it was a gunshot wound, .22 caliber," she said, adding that it was too soon to know what happened. Police suspect suicide, reports the Times of Israel, citing local media. Nisman had been appointed 10 years ago by Fernandez's late husband, then President Nestor Kirchner, to investigate the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people and injured more than 200. In 2013, Argentina and Iran reached an agreement to investigate the attack, which remains unsolved.

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That year, Nisman accused Iran and Hezbollah of organizing the blast. Last week, Nisman accused Fernandez and other senior Argentine officials of agreeing not to punish at least two former Iranian officials in the case. He asked a judge to call Fernandez and others, including Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, for questioning. "The president and her foreign minister took the criminal decision to fabricate Iran's innocence to sate Argentina's commercial, political, and geopolitical interests," Nisman said last week. A federal judge had begun deciding whether to hear the complaint. Late yesterday, police in charge of Nisman's protection alerted superiors that he wasn't answering phone calls; Nisman's mother wasn't able to open his door because a key was in the lock, and a locksmith was called. A .22-caliber handgun and a shell casing were found next to Nisman's body. (Read more Alberto Nisman stories.)

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