The death of Alberto Nisman in his Buenos Aires apartment continues to give rise to troubling revelations something other than the suicide that appeared to be the cause of his death. Nisman was of course the Argentine prosecutor who charged the Iranian regime with the bombing of the 1994 Jewish community center; 85 Argentinians were killed in the bombing, the worst terror attack in the country’s history.
Nisman was killed on the eve of explosive testimony he was to give on the government’s collusion with Iran to shield Iranian suspects and therefore suppress his investigation into the 1994 bombing. The circumstances of Nisman’s death are, to say the least, highly suspicious.
The Washington Post recaps the story to date in the editorial “An independent probe must investigate a prosecutor’s death in Argentina.” Picking up where I left off in part 2, the Post editors write:
THAT THE mysterious death of an Argentine prosecutor has rattled President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is all too evident from the president’s own postings on her Facebook page. Last Tuesday, Ms. Kirchner claimed in a rambling, 2,000-word post that Alberto Nisman, who was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head the night before he was due to publicly charge Ms. Kirchner with illicit dealings with Iran, had killed himself. On Thursday, she maintained in an even longer Facebook post that Mr. Nisman had been murdered as part of an elaborate plot against her government.
In fact, Mr. Nisman appears to have compiled considerable evidence that Ms. Kirchner and several other top officials attempted to strike a deal between 2011 and 2013 under which Iran would supply Argentina with oil in exchange for food, and Ms. Kirchner’s government would seek the removal from an Interpol arrest list of eight Iranians wanted in connection with the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. Both the charges and the prosecutor’s death call out for an independent, internationally-backed investigation.
The stakes of the case extend well beyond Argentina. Mr. Nisman has alleged that senior Iranian officials were involved in planning or approving the community center bombing. According to Andres Oppenheimer of the Miami Herald, Mr. Nisman said he had testimony that now-president Hassan Rouhani was one of the members of a committee that signed off on the attack. He told Mr. Oppenheimer, as well as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, that he was looking forward to testifying to the Argentine Congress last Monday about a 280-page report he had delivered to a judge outlining the secret dealings between the two governments. No suicide note was found in his apartment following his sudden death last Sunday.
The evidence Mr. Nisman compiled included transcripts of phone conversations between Argentine and Iranian representatives. The sanctions-busting deal they were trying to arrange, the prosecutor charged, broke down when Argentine Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman was unable to persuade Interpol to remove the Iranians from its arrest list.
Ms. Kirchner’s claim that this case was fabricated by rogue intelligence officials is undermined by the fact that her government subsequently announced an accord with Iran under which the 1994 bombing would be investigated by a joint commission — which would have neutered the judicial process. This travesty did not go forward only because the Argentine Supreme Court declared it illegal.
Ms. Kirchner, whose populist, quasi-autocratic rule has badly damaged Argentina’s economy and soured its relations with the United States and other democracies, is a political lame duck who is due to leave office following an election later this year. However, she, Mr. Timerman and other close associates should be held accountable for their dealings with Iran. The cause of Mr. Nisman’s death must also be established. Only a probe with international sponsorship or participation is likely to produce a credible result. If Ms. Kirchner really believes herself to be the innocent target of a conspiracy, she should welcome it.
In the latest news emerging from the investigation of Nisman’s death, it is reported that Nisman “was killed by a bullet fired from point-blank range into his forehead[.]” The AFP report continues:
Prosecutor Viviana Fein who is leading the investigation said staff were waiting for ballistics analysis, including a DNA comparison, and to see whether the bullet taken from the body matched the .22-calibre weapon found at the scene.
Ms Fein told local television the shot was fired “from a distance no greater than a centimetre” while repeating her view that there was no evidence third parties took part in the actual shooting itself.
“We are still awaiting the toxicological and tissue testing, which can take a bit longer,” she said.
And then we have this:
The journalist of the daily Buenos Aires Herald, Damian Pachter, who last Sunday announced on his Twitter account the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, left Argentina Saturday in fear after finding that he was being followed, the Argentine Journalism Forum, or Fopea, said.
“Fopea reports that journalist Damian Pacter left the country because he feared for his safety,” the journalism association said on the social network Twitter.
“Pacter told Fopea yesterday, Friday, that he was being followed and thought he had better leave the country,” it said.
* * * * *
“I’m leaving because my life is in danger,” the journalist said on the Infobae Web site, minutes before leaving the country on Saturday.
“Since all this began, someone who has been a close, trustworthy source for years and who knows how to move in the world of intelligence, has been sending me hints,” he said.
“I don’t known when they started following me” Pachter said on Infobae, but from a tweet he received from within the government, “today it was all confirmed. ‘Leave because they’re looking for you.'”
“I never imagined that after that tweet, in five days I’d have to leave the country on the basis of real evidence,” the journalist said.
“I don’t believe this solves Nisman’s death. Power covers its tracks,” he said.
After the news was made public, in a communique posted on the Web site of the daily Ambito, which belongs to the same media group as the Buenos Aires Herald, the company said that the journalist “at no time” expressed his fears to his superiors.
As Alice cried in Wonderland, “Curiouser and curiouser!”