Former President He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (or Carlos Menem) refused to testify before the Second Criminal Courthouse in a new session of the AMIA bombing cover-up trial.
Let’s recall he’s indicted for covering up the Syrian lead in the 1994 attack on the Jewish Center which killed 85 people and injured more than 300.
The current senator for La Rioja Province addressed the judge via teleconference, since he was granted the right to not show up to the actual courthouse due to his delicate health.
“I refuse to answer, sir,” said Menem in response to Judge Jorge Gorini’s inquisition, but had to repeat himself due to some sound interference, according to La Nación. Damn Argentine Wi-Fi.
Menem’s defense attorney, Omar Daer, had requested the former president be able to reveal a classified information in court but warned this could affect “Argentina’s interests” and even provoke “the breakdown of peaceful relations” with other nations. He explained the need came from the fact that, after the bombings of the Israeli Embassy and AMIA, Menem called several intelligence agencies from other countries to collaborate with the SIDE to shed light on the attacks. The US, UK, Israel and Brazil were among them.
There hasn’t been any news regarding the petition so far, but Cabinet Chief Aníbal Fernández (because of course he talked about this, he talks about everything) pronounced himself in favor of removing Menem’s legal muzzle:
“I’d let him speak because we don’t know what happened with the [Argentina-based cell] for many years. I’d do it but with some limitations,” said the mustache.
Former Judge Juan José Galeano also refused to testify.
Galeano was charged with practically everything that’s included in the Criminal Code: bribery, destroying evidence, coercing witnesses and ruling despite knowing the sentence didn’t coincide with the law.
Due to his actions, Galeano had to face trial, which he tried to dodge by attempting to resign in 2005. However, the late President Néstor Kirchner refused to accept his resignation.
Both Menem and Galeano decided to not testify after the courthouse’s judges rejected every request made by their respective defense attorneys.
THE SYRIAN LEAD IN A NUTSHELL
According to those who support this theory, the Middle Eastern country would’ve blown up the Jewish center’s building out of revenge for an unresolved commercial trade with former President Menem.
According to former Ambassador Oscar Spinoza Melo, Menem traveled to Syria in 1988 and offered its president a deal: cooperation in the field of nuclear energy in exchange for funds for his presidential campaign. However, after his victory in the 1989 elections, Menem would’ve forgotten to meet his side of the deal, which then triggered a series of attacks against him, including the AMIA bombing.
The theory revolves around a phone call made by Syrian businessman Alberto Kanoore Edul. On July 10, 1994, he called Carlos Telleldín, who on the same day delivered the white Renault Traffic van that was found in the debris after the bombing.
You can read about this theory in more depth in this article from The Bubble written by Juan Brodersen.
Sadly, more than 20 years after the attack, these are all still just theories.