Argentine president: Nisman letters accused and praised me

Marcy Oster

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina said documents found in the safe of the late AMIA prosecutor Alberto Nisman contradicted his own allegations that she had covered up Iran’s role in the 1984 Jewish center attack.

Kirchner in a nearly four-hour televised address Sunday at the opening of a new session of Congress also rebuked Israel for not working to bring the perpetrators of the 1992 bombing of its embassy in Buenos Aires to justice.

She sent a message to the “internal and external actors that used the AMIA case for their own interests,” demanding that they not use Argentina as a “chess theater of geopolitical situations not related to us.”

According to reports, Kirchner said two signed documents were found in Nisman’s safe after he was discovered in his Buenos Aires apartment shot to death on Jan. 18 — the cause has yet to be determined. One argued the case against her, the president said, and the other said she had nothing to do with an alleged cover-up that included other government officials, including the country’s Jewish foreign minister, Hector Timerman.

In fact, she said, both letters praised her efforts in speeches to the United Nations seeking justice in the AMIA attack.

Nisman’s body was found hours before he was to present evidence to Argentine lawmakers alleging a coverup.

“Which Nisman am I left with?” Kirchner asked.

Last week, a federal judge dismissed Nisman’s accusations against her and her government.

The president reacted to posters hanging from the benches of opposition lawmakers that read “AMIA, investigative commission” and “AMIA open up the archives” as she spoke about the terror attacks on the AMIA center and the embassy, often shouting in anger.

“I don’t need posters to talk about AMIA. You can bring the posters down. I have been talking about AMIA since 1996,” Kirchner said, arguing that she has done all she could to find justice in the case.

She accused Israel of not working harder to garner justice in the embassy attack.

“I want to add to the 85 AMIA deaths also the 29 Israeli victims,” Kirchner said. “Why is Israel not an appellant in the case of the Israeli Embassy bombing attack?”

Kirchner called on Israel’s former envoy to Argentina, Itzhak Aviran, to return to testify about his declaration in an interview published in January by the Jewish News Agency, or AJN, a Spanish-language service, that Israel has killed most of the people responsible for the AMIA attack.

The president, who has been criticized for not expressing condolences to the Nisman family, said in her address, “I’m sorry about Nisman’s death, as I am about the death of any other human being.”

She said she did not want to comment on the dismissal of charges, but on her Twitter account Kirchner posted the whole resolution in English and a smiley face icon to her 3.6 million followers.