Reporter who broke news of Nisman’s death is on his way to Israel

Damian Pachter says he fears his life is in danger; meanwhile, colleague of slain prosecutor, who obtained a gun for him, prevented from leaving Argentina

Alberto Nisman (Natacha Pisarenko/AP)
Alberto Nisman (Natacha Pisarenko/AP)

A journalist credited with being the first to report the gunshot death of federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman has left Argentina because of fear for his safety.

Damian Pachter of the English-language Buenos Aires Herald left the country Saturday, the local journalism group Foro de Periodismo Argentino said.

Pachter told The Times of Israel on Sunday afternoon that he is on his way to Israel. Haaretz reported earlier that he is “planning to take refuge” in the country.

Pachter, who is Jewish and has Israeli citizenship, told a local internet site that “I left because my life was in danger. My phones were being monitored. I intend to return to Argentina when my sources tell me conditions have changed. I don’t think that will happen in the term of this government.”

The Buenos Aires journalism group said Pachter reported on Friday he was followed by unknown people and felt his safety was at risk but did not elaborate.

Damian Pachter (photo credit: Facebook)
Damian Pachter (photo credit: Facebook)

In a statement, Pachter’s employer said the journalist had not expressed his concerns to the newspaper and the organization was ready to help him in any way possible.

Meanwhile, authorities said Diego Lagomarsino, a computer expert and colleague who said he had brought prosecutor Alberto Nisman a handgun Saturday night at his request, has been barred from leaving Argentina.

Lagomarsino, who spoke to authorities soon after Nisman’s death, said he had given a .22-caliber pistol to Nisman because the prosecutor wanted it for protection.

Nisman was found dead last Sunday, the day before he was to testify before congress about his explosive allegations that President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner shielded Iranian officials wanted in the South American country’s biggest terrorist attack.

Nisman was shot from a distance of at least 15 centimeters, according to the findings of an initial forensics exam, a source in the country’s Federal Police told local media on Saturday.

The finding completely contradicts the government’s initial claims that Nisman had committed suicide, an assertion Kirchner has since backtracked from.

The forensics exam also confirmed that there was no exit wound, a result expected when a gun is pressed to the temple, the Federal Police source said.

Kirchner, who has dismissed Nisman’s allegations of a cover-up in the bombing, published two letters on social media this week about the prosecutor’s death — the first saying it appeared he had killed himself, then a second saying she was now convinced it wasn’t a suicide.

Nisman’s allegations, she said, were based on false information given to him by the former head of the intelligence services. In her second letter, published Thursday, she portrayed Nisman’s death as a way to damage her administration.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed