Argentina court reopens probe of ex-president in bomb case
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Argentina court reopens probe of ex-president in bomb case

Kirchner suspected of covering up involvement of Iranians in 1994 attack against Jewish community center

The aftermath of the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires. (Newspaper La Nación (Argentina/Wikipedia Commons)
The aftermath of the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires. (Newspaper La Nación (Argentina/Wikipedia Commons)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — An Argentine court on Thursday ordered a renewed investigation into a prosecutor’s accusation that former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner covered up the involvement of Iranians in a 1994 attack against a Jewish community center.

The bombing of the AMIA center in Buenos Aires killed 85 people and wounded hundreds of others. Iran has denied any connection with the attack and declined to turn over the suspects in the case.

In its ruling, the country’s top criminal tribunal accepted a request by a delegation of Argentine Jewish associations to re-examine the charge Alberto Nisman made on Jan. 14, 2015, against Kirchner, her Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and other officials in her government.

Nisman, who had traced the AMIA bombing to orders issued in Iran, and identified the suicide bombers as a Hezbollah member, was found dead with a gunshot to the head four days later. Authorities never determined if he was killed or took his own life.

Argentina's Public Prosecutor Alberto Nisman gives a news conference in Buenos Aires, May 20, 2009. (JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)
Argentina’s Public Prosecutor Alberto Nisman gives a news conference in Buenos Aires, May 20, 2009. (JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)

Kirchner was president from 2007-2015. She has denied wrongdoing in the case.

The former president blames the accusation on what she says is the bias of judges following the orders of her successor, President Mauricio Macri, who took office in December 2015.

Santiago Kaplun, secretary general of the delegation of Jewish organizations, welcomed the court ruling, telling the Todo Noticias cable television channel that “we are very hopeful.”

Argentina's then-president Cristina Kirchner in Buenos Aires on January 30, 2015. (AFP Photo/Alejandro Pagni)
Argentina’s then-president Cristina Kirchner in Buenos Aires on January 30, 2015. (AFP Photo/Alejandro Pagni)

The ruling adds to legal complication for the former leader.

On Tuesday, a federal judge approved charges of illicit association and fraudulent administration against Kirchner, and two former aides: ex-Planning Minister Julio de Vido and former Public Works Secretary Jose Lopez. They are accused of misusing public money by paying inflated prices for public works contracts.

Kirchner also denies wrongdoing in that case.

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