A team of investigators in Argentina has reportedly determined that Alberto Nisman, the special prosecutor who investigated the Iran-ordered 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires, was murdered and did not commit suicide as claimed by the defense, according to a Spanish-language report Thursday.
Twenty-eight experts in different areas, from ballistics to psychology, determined that Nisman was murdered by a shot to the head, and that the murderer (or murderers) then attempted to cover their tracks at the scene of the crime, according to a report in the Argentine news site Infobae.
Argentinian officials have has not confirmed the report, which comes just days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the first-ever visit by an Israeli premier to Argentina.
Netanyahu brought the issue up in his talks with Argentinean President Mauricio Macri. Israeli officials were told Monday that the investigation was advancing, and that they can expect an official announcement soon. Officials in the prime minister’s delegation said that the timing of the Thursday report was coincidental.
Nisman was discovered shot dead in his apartment in January 2015, hours before he was scheduled to appear in Congress. Nisman had been about to present allegations that then-president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner orchestrated a secret deal to cover up Iranian officials’ role in the AMIA bombing. Kirchner denied the allegations and judges threw out the case.
It was reopened one year ago. Macri, who replaced Kirchner, has said he is “determined” to solve the mysterious death.
Among the findings of the investigation team were only two footprints in the room, which was inconsistent with Nisman’s activities on that day, and implies that the murderer(s) cleaned the floor at the site to cover their tracks, Infobae said.
Investigators found that the position and angle of the gunshot were inconsistent with a self-inflicted wound, and they found traces of the anesthetic Ketamine in Nisman’s body, it added.
In addition, a number of bruises were found on Nisman’s body that do not fit with the theory that he committed suicide.
Previous investigations have maintained that Nisman died of a self-inflicted wound.
Federal Prosecutor Eduardo Taiano will now have to decide whether he accepts the conclusion of investigators by mid-October.
Argentina has previously accused the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group of carrying out the attack AMIA at the direction of Iran. Nisman established how and when Iran commissioned the bombing and that Hezbollah recruited and despatched the suicide-bomber, Ibrahim Berro, who drove the explosives-filled Renault Trafic van into the building on July 18, 1994, killing 85 innocents.
In addition to the AMIA bombing, Iran also sponsored the March 1992 attack in which a suicide bomber killed 29 and wounded hundreds in front of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, in the deadliest-ever attack on an Israeli diplomatic mission.
Netanyahu on Monday attended memorials marking both attacks, accusing Iran of continuing to export terror and asserting that Israel will continue to fight Iranian aggression.
“Israel has been and will continue to be a spearhead in the struggle against global terrorism, and we will continue to act with determination, in various ways, to defend ourselves from the aggression and terrorism of Iran and against terrorism in general,” he said at an event at the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina Jewish community center, known as AMIA.
A group with ties to Iran and the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah took responsibility for the bombing.
Netanyahu called for the perpetrators of the attack to be prosecuted.
“It is time to hold Iran fully responsible in a public and final way. It is time to get justice for the victims. It is time to denounces the perpetrators,” he said, speaking to an audience of about 150 local Jewish leaders.
Netanyahu thanked Macri for committing to finding out the truth about the 1994 attack.