BUENOS AIRES — Alberto Nisman was buried in the same section of the main Jewish cemetery in Buenos Aires as the victims in the 1994 AMIA bombing that he was investigating.
On Thursday morning, a police escort led the funeral procession to the Tablada Jewish Cemetery. Along the procession route, people waved Argentine flags and held signs that said “Justice,” “Thank you, Nisman” and “We all are Nisman” in Spanish. Some chanted Argentina’s national anthem.
Nisman’s grave was located in the “Martyrs Section,” where the victims of the AMIA Jewish center attack are buried. Eighty-five people were killed in the Buenos Aires bombing; some are calling Nisman the 86th victim.
Eulogies were presented by the writer and philosopher Santiago Kovadloff and Waldo Wolff, vice president of the DAIA umbrella Jewish communal organization in Argentina. The mourners included Nisman’s two daughters, Lara and Kala; Nisman’s mother, Sara Garfunkel; and his ex-wife, Sandra Arroyo Salgado.
Nisman, 51, the special prosecutor in the AMIA bombing, was found in his Buenos Aires home on Jan. 18, hours before he was to present evidence to Argentine lawmakers that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner covered up Iran’s role in the attack.
Mourners and observers lined Buenos Aires streets to watch the funeral motorcade.
“This is burying part of our republic,” said Patricia Bullrich, an opposition member of Congress, before entering the cemetery. “It’s a day of reflection and sadness for all of Argentina.”
A farewell letter written by Nisman’s daughters to their father was published Thursday in Argentine papers. “We hope now you can rest in peace. We will guard in our hearts the beautiful moments we lived together,” they wrote.
In a separate funeral notice, Nisman’s ex-wife Salgado said she felt “profound sorrow” for their daughters. “I say goodbye to you, hoping you find the peace that your dedication to your job did not let you fully enjoy,” it said.
Nisman no longer trusted even his bodyguards at the end of his life, an assistant said Wednesday.
A tense Diego Lagomarsino, his voice breaking at times, recounted at a news conference here how he came to give Alberto Nisman the .22-caliber revolver used to put a bullet through his head.
Lagomarsino, a computer expert who is the last person known to have seen Nisman alive, said the prosecutor asked him for the gun, saying: “I no longer trust even the guards.”
Nisman told Lagomarsino he feared for the safety of his two daughters — who are 7 and 15 years old, and were on vacation in Spain at the time.
“Do you know what it is like that your daughters don’t want to be with you because they are afraid?” Lagomarsino quoted Nisman as saying.
“I answered: Look it’s an old weapon, its a 22,” Lagomarsino said.
He said Nisman wanted to “carry it in the glove compartment in case some crazy person came by. It was a weapon that was truly faulty. And he said to me, ‘The only favor I ask of you and you won’t do it for me?”
After Nisman’s death, Lagomarsino was charged with giving a firearm to someone other than its registered owner, the only person to be charged so far in the case.
He appeared at a news conference with his lawyer, Maximiliano Rusconi, who said earlier he would ask that Kirchner be called to testify in his client’s case.
Kirchner has accused former intelligence agents of manipulating Nisman to bring charges against her and then killing him to smear her.
On Monday, she announced plans to disband Argentina’s Intelligence Secretariat and replace it with a new federal intelligence agency.
Investigators initially said they believed Nisman committed suicide, but classified his death as “suspicious” and said they have not ruled out murder or an “induced suicide.”
Nisman had received many death threats over the years. The Times of Israel’s David Horovitz, who had interviewed Nisman several times, wrote last week that the prosecutor said he had been repeatedly threatened by Iran.
“Nisman told me that he had been warned off the AMIA case by Iran, and that he had received death threats, including one that he found recorded on his home answering machine which was particularly troubling because his daughter was standing next to him when he played it,” he wrote. “In one of several subsequent telephone conversations, he said the Iranians had told him — during hearings at which they sought in vain to have their incriminated leaders cleared by Interpol — that he had slandered their nation, that his capture would be sought, and that he would spend years in Iran’s jails… Nisman did not appear particularly fazed by the threats, saying lightly that he had no plans to visit the Islamic Republic. He also swore that he would not cease his work on the case until the perpetrators and orchestrators had been tried, convicted and jailed.”