Alberto Nisman

by Joy Wolf

Alberto Nisman (
Alberto Nisman (

The day before Special Prosecutor, Alberto Nisman was supposed to testify before the Argentine Congress, alleging that the president of the country had conspired with Iranian terrorists; he was found shot dead in his apartment. And while the apparent suicide had all the markings of a hit, the diplomatic community went scampering into silence. Nisman, 51-years-old, was determined to seek justice since assigned the case in 2005 and prove that Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had obstructed justice and co-conspired with Iranian terrorists who attacked a Jewish Community Center in central Buenos Aires, which left 85 people dead and hundreds more injured on July 18th, 1994. Besides the Argentine prosecutor, Interpol and the state of Israel have all accused Iran of instigating the attack and the Islamic group Hezbollah, based in Lebanon of orchestrating it.

No official cause of death or investigation on the part of Argentine authorities has produced much of anything, and Kirchner and her aides teeter between calling it a suicide or claiming it's her political enemies seeking her demise. Iran's history overseas, points otherwise. And while ten armed guards had been assigned to Nisman, none of them were working while he was at home in his high-rise apartment, the day he died. Nisman's former wife, Sandra Arroya Selgado, a high profile judge herself, pursued her own investigation with a team of forensic experts at her side and concluded in no uncertain terms that Nisman had been "assassinated." No traces of gunpowder on his hands indicated that there was no way he could have shot himself. Viviana Fein, the prosecutor investigating the case insists along with party lines that this is was a suicide. According to the New York Times, transcripts of phone calls between Iranian and Argentine agents are said to reveal secret talks about a deal to protect Iranian terrorists from charges in exchange for oil. The calls were part of the almost 300 page criminal complaint Nisman filed. The document filed in federal court alleges that government officials tried to remove Iranian suspects from Interpol lists in exchange for trade preferences. Nisman asserted in no uncertain terms, that the Argentine government had agreed to trade grain for oil with Iran, in exchange for withdrawing "red notices" to Interpol seeking the arrest of Iranian and Hezbollah terrorists for not only this bombing, but another one also waged against the Jewish community in Argentina, two years earlier. In response, almost as choreographed as a classic Argentine tango, not only do Kirchner and her political cronies vehemently deny the allegations regardless of the evidence, they have gone so far as to manipulate constitutional law. In a country strapped for cash, where the tax on exports approaches fifty percent, trading grain for oil appears to be worth more than human life.

According to Fein, the 26-page document seeking not only the president's arrest, but also the foreign minister and other lawmakers was found in Nisman's trash outside his posh apartment building in the heart of Buenos Aires; a document the Argentine government now calls "garbage." Fein also alleges that the country's spy chief, Antonio Stiusso who had been ousted the month before Nisman's death was in contact with Nisman hours before, and has since vanished into the mystic. Kirchner has publicly declared that she would like to disband her nation's Intelligence Secretariat or S. I for short and curb the organization's powers. The second woman to serve as Argentina's President, following in the footsteps of Isabel Martinez de Peron, better known as Evita, Kirchner is no stranger to politics or law. An attorney and former member of the Senate, she and her deceased husband, Nestor Kirchner were ardent Peronist followers in the 1970s. Nisman's evidence includes a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2013 between Argentina and Iran. Some twelve years after the bombing, an Argentine court demanded the extradition of the terrorists, but in 2013, Kirchner agreed to set up a "truth commission" to investigate what is known as the AMIA bombing and allow suspects to be questioned in Iran rather than seek extradition. The Memorandum also sought to lift the red notices issued by federal Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral against the terrorists. In his resolution, Cassation Court Justice Javier De Luca said that the agreement between the two nations could never be classified as a crime. The Argentine Congress also ratified the Memorandum of Understanding. These terrorists will never be charged in Argentina, let alone convicted. It may not be a crime in Argentina, but it is undoubtedly a crime against humanity.

(Photos: Michael Kremer/AFP)
(Photos: Michael Kremer/AFP)

In 2013, U.S. Senators (R.-Ill.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D.-N.Y.) wrote to Kirchner and said, "Since the AMIA attack, Iranian government's support for terrorism and devastating human rights abuses have only grown, from responsibility for the deaths of American service members in Iraq to helping Syrian President Assad slaughter the Syrian people. Overturning the legal process and indictment not only dishonors the Argentine victims of this terrorist regime, but sends exactly the wrong message to Tehran's leaders about responsibility for their actions." In February, thousands flocked to the Buenos Aires to rally in honor of and in support of Nisman. Days later, a judge ruled that Nisman's criminal complaint against the president didn't "minimally hold up" to open a case against Mrs. Kirchner. In a final blow in May of 2015, the Argentine Federal Cassation Court dismissed the criminal complaint against the president and other top officials, and that was that. The case has been closed; never mind the facts. Damian Pachter, the first journalist to report Nisman's death fled to Israel days after his first report after receiving death threats. Kirchner's government actually tweeted on Twitter the details of the ticket Pachter had purchased, leaving many wondering 'what are they thinking?' "Argentina has become a dark place led by a corrupt political system," Pachter said.

In response, Argentina's cabinet chief, Jorge Capitanich defended the publication of Pachter's journey and said, "If a journalist says he feels threatened, it's important to publish his whereabouts." This bombshell of a statement came on the heels of Nisman's death and the unfortunate history of corruption as well as unsolved bombings of innocent citizens not only in Argentina but worldwide. Once again, all fingers point to Iran where blood and oil regularly converge. As truth can be stranger than fiction, and democracy in Argentina is as fleeting as Kirchner's quest for resolve or remorse; this is one tragedy that has scarred a nation, left it's global legacy tarnished, and continues to leave in it's wake an unsolved trail of bloodshed. Many cry for you, Argentina, indeed.

Page created on 4/2/2016 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 9/24/2018 2:58:05 PM

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Related Links

Alberto Nisman - Wikipedia