Argentine president receives Nisman daughters on anniversary of his death

Marcy Oster

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Argentinian President Mauricio Macri received the daughters of AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, a year after he was found dead in his apartment with a gunshot wound to the head.

Nisman’s daughters Iara and Kala met with Macri on Sunday at his personal weekend house called “Los Abrojos.”

Sunday’s meeting with Macri is in contrast with former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who never received Nisman’s relatives, and also never expressed condolences to the Nisman’s family. The meeting was announced on Twitter and the presidential public schedule.

The 20-minute meeting, during which Argentine Masorti Rabbi Marcelo Polakoff prayed in memory of Nisman, was held without reporters present.

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Sunda’s meeting between the president and Nisman’s daughters was held a day before the public gathering organized by the Argentinian Jewish political umbrella DAIA called “Candles for Nisman,” who was found dead in his apartment on Jan. 18 with a gunshot wound to the head.

Macri on Friday ordered government agencies to declassify every file related to Nisman’s still unresolved death. Macri ordered the files sent to Judge Fabiana Palmaghini, who is in charge of the new stage of the investigation after the case was removed from prosecutor Viviana Fein one month ago.

Also on Friday, the Argentinian secret service said it would allow its agents to appear before Palmaghini to provide information about how the agency protected or may have spied on the late prosecutor.

“I cannot determine for the moment whether it was a suicide or a homicide,” prosecutor Viviana Fein said earlier this year, when she convened the authors of the independent forensic report to examine their evidence, including two tests that did not find gunpowder on Nisman´s  hands. In July, U.S. forensic pathologist Cyril Welch analyzed the case and said he believes that Nisman likely was murdered.

In the new stage of the investigation, next month Palmaghini will interrogate the late AMIA prosecutor’s bodyguards, to analyze how well the area was protected in the hours before Nisman was found dead.

Nisman’s body was found four days after he sued then-president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, charging that her government covered up Iran’s role in the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, which left 85 dead and hundreds wounded. Nisman’s lawsuit accused the government of establishing a “parallel communication channel” with Iran in order to “transmit and implement the orders established by the President (Kirchner) and, in that way, reach the illicit objectives,” including establishing trade relations.

His death was discovered just hours before he was to present the evidence to Argentine lawmakers at the National Parliament.

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