If forgetting that mystery novel you were reading has but a damper on your Carnaval weekend fret not Argentine news has got you covered with a new chapter of the real-life suspense story. The death of Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, found in his apartment with a single gunshot to the head a day before testifying before the Congress regarding his accusation against former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner — as well as other high ranking officials — for allegedly covering up the role Iran played in the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing in exchange of trade deals.
The case comes back into public conversation after Director of the Argentine Jewish News Agency, Daniel Berliner, published the transcription of a new audio message Nisman had sent regarding his investigation, about four months before his death. In it, Nisman sounds very confident with the evidence he had collected and says that some of the people involved wanted to jump ship and were trying to negotiate with him.
“This is like a secret passage, something Batman-esque, you open a secret door and find something you can’t believe…the proof has been saved in such a way that even if they want to kill me, there’s no way back. Some of the involved know this and are asking me for a lifeline. If any of them are listening, I don’t give a shit. Each one knows what they said and did,” the transcription argues Nisman said.
Nisman was secure in his accusation that the signing of the so called Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) — which among other things established a relationship with the Iranian commission to investigate the AMIA attack — really intended to cover up the responsibility of the Iranian officials 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.
“Now I’ve got proof and with it more than one person who couldn’t even imagine [this was possible] will tremble. Because it’s not something I made up, it’s not a [personal] analysis, when they see the proof provided by the state itself, you’ll grab your head, Daniel. Wait, wait a bit, you continue doing your job and everything… But that those responsible end up in jail in no time, don’t doubt it,” Nisman added, according to Berliner’s book.
The audio is yet another factor adding mystery to the events. Those who were always more willing to believe Nisman killed himself assert that he did so because his accusation didn’t have enough bearing. However, in the days leading up to his death, the late prosecutor appeared to be confident about his case and those who followed it closely assured the press that he never hinted that he wanted to take his life.
To this, the first group speculated that in that time Nisman found out that his evidence was false. But for now there’s nothing more than that: speculation from both sides.
Nisman’s accusation was paralyzed during two years, a result of the decision from a federal judge and an appeals court to dismiss it, arguing the evidence wasn’t even conclusive to begin an investigation. Last December, a Cassation Court decided otherwise and reopened it. In February, Judge Ariel Lijo and Prosecutor Eduardo Pollicita ordered the first probes.