This is shocking.
Local media outlets Infobae and Clarín both published just before noon today that a probe conducted by Border Patrol (gendarmerie) analysts had concluded that late prosecutor Alberto Nisman was murdered, and that the crime scene had been tampered with in order to make it look like he had committed suicide.
Since the story hadn’t officially been broken to the population, Clarín language was not conclusive and used “might” a lot. The Border Patrol still hasn’t submitted the report to Federal Prosecutor Eduardo Taiano, meaning that they hadn’t set their conclusions in stone yet. But Infobae’s story, written by journalist Román Lejtman, assured there was no room for doubt: “Nisman was killed in cold blood. A political job executed by professionals,” he says in his article.
The report, as mentioned, is not done. After the news made the rounds, Border Patrol issued a statement clarifying that “the institution has not produced a final report.” All experts provided by the parties involved in the case will meet again next week to give their respective conclusions. Once this happens, they will submit it to prosecutor Taiano, who will evaluate it and decide how to proceed.
The articles go on to list the arguments provided by the experts to back up their conclusion:
- That the gun from which the gunshot that ended his life came leaves gunpowder traces, yet they couldn’t find any on his hand
- That the gun was found next to the bathroom door, close to the body, proving that after it was fired, the gun was dropped next to the body
- That the shot was taken behind his ear, in a perpendicular way, and the barrel wasn’t placed on his skin, something highly unusual in suicides.
- That Nisman had a bruise on his left leg and another one on his head. “They are professional hits to neutralize a victim.”
- The ketamine traces found in the late prosecutor’s body were used as a sedative, as investigators didn’t find more of the substance in his apartment.
- Only two DNA samples were found in the apartment, and both belonged to Nisman. “It makes it clear that the scene was cleaned,” read the preliminary report, according to the outlets.
It’s important to clarify that this case is different to the one investigating the late prosecutor’s accusation, although they are strictly related: the Supreme Court determined last year that Nisman died — regardless of the way — as a result of his job as a public official. If the judge ends up concluding that he was indeed assassinated, he will also be practically certain that whoever was behind it decided to do so because of his accusation.
Last week, Federal Prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita requested that former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner be called to testify as a suspect in this last case. For this reason, a theory regarding his death posits that the former president had something to do with it, as it considers the possibility that she had him killed so he wouldn’t continue his case against her.
- Read more: Cristina Kirchner Could Be Called to Testify for Allegedly Covering Up Iran’s Role in AMIA Bombing
In an interview with Infobae, Fernández said that this is “nonsense, a baseless accusation.” “Not even those who made such an accusation really believe it,” she said.
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.
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.