Update: Federal Judge Sergio Torres determined shortly after midday that former Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman be released from preemptive prison (although he’s serving house arrest, the legal term is actually the same) in order to enable him to travel to the United States and continue undergoing cancer treatment in New York.
According to Infobae, Torres granted Timerman this benefit as “an exception” due to “humanitarian reasons.” He also indicated that once the former minister returns to the country, he must appear before Judge Claudio Bonadio, the judge who Torres is replacing during the judicial recess.
Both Bonadio and a Federal Court of Appeals had determined Timerman’s house arrest due to his delicate health, and this imprisonment was to also allow him to travel to the United States to be treated. As mentioned before, when the former foreign minister attempted to do so, he was denied entry to the US, which resulted in his lawyer’s request (Graciana Peñafort) for his release, granted shortly after by Judge Torres.
Former Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman was unable to travel to the United States yesterday evening after finding out that his visa had been revoked by the country’s State Department when he was about to board a flight to New York to continue undergoing cancer treatment.
While there has been no official reason given as to why Timerman was prevented from entering the US, several members of the Victory Front (FPV) have stated that it likely had to do with his indictment in the AMIA-cover up case, even though he had been cleared by the a judge to leave the country and be treated in New York.
According to Infobae, Timerman, who was granted the benefit of house arrest due to his delicate health state, will issue two formal requests to be allowed into the country: one through diplomatic channels – he will ask the US State Department to review its decision – and another through legal ones – he will request Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio, who indicted him in the AMIA case, to go back on his decision to imprison him. “It’s a matter of life or death,” said his lawyers when addressing the issue.
Kirchnerite political leaders claimed Bonadio and the Federal Court of Appeals, which upheld his rulings following appeals from those indicted in the case, of being responsible for these events, and argued that they can lead to the former minister’s death.
Timerman no puede ingresar a EEUU porque le revocaron la visa por la prisión preventiva que dictó Bonadio y confirmó la Cámara. Sin prisión preventiva Timerman puede seguir su tratamiento médico en EEUU. Bonadio & Cia son los responsables.
— Agustin Rossi (@RossiAgustinOk) January 10, 2018
“Timerman can’t enter the US. His visa was revoked due to the preemptive prison that Bonadio ruled and the Court of Appeals confirmed. Without preemptive prison, Timerman can continue undergoing medical treatment in the US. Bonadio and company are responsible for this,” his tweet reads.
Previa tortura , le están aplicando “Pena de Muerte” a @TimermanHector. Algunos/as festejan esta dramática, injusta, antidemocrática y perversa decisión. El mal existe.
— Juliana di Tullio (@ditulliojuli) January 10, 2018
“Following torture, Timerman is getting the ‘death penalty.’ Some celebrate this dramatic, unfair, anti-democratic and perverse decision. Evil exists,” reads the tweet of former National Deputy and leader of the Kirchnerite caucus in the Lower House until December 2017, Juliana Di Tullio.
Timerman was among the several high profile Kirchnerite figures who, on December 7, were indicted by Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio on allegations that they sought to cover-up the alleged Iranian responsibility for the AMIA bombing.
These arrests took place after the indictment issued to former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Because of her current position as national senator, Bonadio has asked for her immunity from arrest to be rescinded by the Senate. Bonadio is in charge of the complaint filed by late AMIA prosecutor Alberto Nisman in 2015 against Fernández de Kirchner and others in her government who had a role in the signing of a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Iran which called for judicial cooperation to investigate the 1994 bombing that claimed the lives of 85 people. Nisman accused the then-government of using the MOU as a front to whitewash Iranian responsibility for the bombing. Bonadio has brought charges of treason, participating in a cover-up and obstructing the acts of a public official against the defendants.
In the immediate aftermath of Nisman’s complaint, Timerman was one of the loudest Kirchnerite voices proclaiming the legality of the MOU. Like his Kirchnerite counterparts, Timerman has contested the accusations against him every step of the way.