Well, this could be interesting.
Federal Prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita requested today that former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who back in early 2015 was accused by the late prosecutor Alberto Nisman of covering up Iran’s role in the 1994 AMIA bombing, be called to testify as a suspect in the case.
In case you don’t remember, four days after making this scandalous accusation to the media and hours before he was supposed to testify before Congress about it, Alberto Nisman was found dead in his Puerto Madero apartment with a single gunshot to the head and his death still remains a mystery.
Pollicita has also requested that other former Kirchnerite officials and affiliates be called to testify, such as former Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, Victory Front (FpV) National Deputy Andrés Larroque, controversial social leader Luis D’elía and former Quebracho picket group leader Fernando Esteche.
Since this case is tied to another currently investigating the former President for alleged treason, Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio will have to send the request to the prosecutor assigned to the case, Eduardo Taiano, for him to weigh in on Pollicita’s request.
Only then he will make a decision about whether to summon the former President to testify.
But before moving on to the reasons included in Pollicita’s request, let’s briefly recall what Alberto Nisman’s accusation was about: In January of 2015, the prosecutor leading the investigation of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center, stunned the world by saying that the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Argentina and Iran in 2013 (which among other things, sought to establish an Iranian committee to investigate the terrorist attack alongside Argentina) really intended to cover up the responsibility of Iranian officials involved in the bombing in exchange for trade agreements.
The MOU, however, never saw the light of day. An Argentine appeals court declared it to be unconstitutional and once the Macri administration — which was always against it — took office, decided not to appeal the decision, putting an end to it.
Fast forward to 2017. Pollicita determined that Fernández has to be called to answer questions regarding her role in the conspiracy — a procedural step that many in the judicial world consider to be previous to an imminent indictment — after establishing the veracity of two pieces of evidence: The first is that at least two phone calls from social leader and Kirchnerite acolyte Luis D’Elía were made to a person considered to be his “Iranian contact” directly from the Casa Rosada. The second is based on a statement from former Argentine Ambassador to Syria Roberto Ahuad, who says that back in 2011 then-Foreign Minister Timerman held a secret meeting with Iranian envoys in Syria. In there, they allegedly outlined the MOU and the ulterior motives it would bring to the table: one of them was dropping Interpol’s red notices on five of the eight Iranians accused of being the masterminds of the AMIA attack. These notices are international arrest warrants, meaning that the accused haven’t been able to leave their country (Iran) since they were issued.
After both countries established their intention of working on the MOU, the red flags were loosened, clarifying that there was an ongoing diplomatic negotiation.
The other one was to set up a so-called “truth committee” that the MOU would create to acquit the Iranians accused. “It was intended to exculpate the Iranians accused, introducing a different theory to the one put forward by the Argentine justice. The committee would be cleared to issue recommendations that would ultimately affect the investigation being carried by the Argentine Judiciary and, as a result, be an attack against our country’s republican and democratic system,” reads a paragraph of the 240-page-long request.
According to Infobae, an Iranian citizen named Mohsen Rabbani – who worked at the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires as a cultural attache at the time of the attack – participated in these meetings.
Bonadio has historically been prone to investigating Cristina Kirchner. It wouldn’t be far fetched to think he will uphold Pollicita’s request. However, we have already experienced quite a few similar situations in the past and it’s not hard to speculate how the procedure will probably go: Fernández de Kirchner will face the judge, answer all questions posed to her with a great dose of sarcasm, refuse to answer the ones that have to do with the accusation and instead put forward a written statement claiming that everything is actually a hoax motivated by politics.
The only difference with the other cases is that, in this one, she has been accused of covering up a terrorist attack and therefore a crime against humanity.