Argentime media analysis of Nisman investigation candidate for global award


(JTA) — The investigation by the late AMIA prosecutor Alberto Nisman – who accused the previous Argentinean government off covering up Iran’s involvement in the 1994 AMIA bombing- includes 40,000 audio recordings from a tapped phone.

Argentinean news media outlet La Nacion analyzed the audio recordings over two years, published the findings and developed a news app to search by topic or person. This investigation based on the data was selected Tuesday in London as finalist on a shortlist for the global Data Journalism Awards.

The data analysis made by 120 volunteers over two years triggered three major findings related to Iranian terrorist activities in Argentina: Iran´s local community paid bail to help a local activist  accused of being a member of the violent movement “Quebracho”;  a national senator from an official government party was discovered to be an active lobbyist for the Iranian government  in partnership with local businessmen; Iran financed a local activist movement in favor of the Kirchner government for leading demonstrations and protests against the U.S. Embassy.

A federal judge requested that evidence from the transcribed recordings be used in the investigation against former foreign minister Héctor Timerman, who is accused of treason in Argentina in a lawsuit filed by fathers of two AMIA bombing victims.

The Argentinean media company shares the shortlist for the “Investigation of the Year” award with top global media The New York Times and Der Spiegel. Started in 2012, the Data Journalism Awards competition is organized by the Global Editors Network, with support from the Google News Lab, Knight Foundation and Chartbeat.

Nisman, a Jewish prosecutor, was found dead on Jan. 18, 2015 hours before he was to present his allegations of a secret deal to cover up Iranian officials’ alleged role in the bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos Aires. His allegations named Kirchner, Timerman and their governments as co-conspirators in the cover-up. Whether Nisman’s shooting death in his own apartment was murder or self-inflicted has yet to be determined.