Argentine prosecutor had planned to ask for president’s arrest over AMIA bombing

Marcy Oster

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Argentine special prosecutor Alberto Nisman considered asking for the arrest of the country’s president, according to a draft warrant found at his apartment

In a draft version of a legal complaint found by police in a trash can at Nisman’s apartment following his unexplained death two weeks ago, Nisman called for the arrest of Argentinian President Cristina Fernadez de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, who is Jewish.


Had the warrants been issued “it would have provoked a crisis without precedents in Argentina,” a political analyst, Sergio Berensztein, said in The New York Times.

Nisman seems to have ultimately decided to denounce Fernandez and her government but not to ask for her immediate arrest.

Nisman, 51, the Argentine prosecutor heading the probe into the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center, was found shot dead in his Buenos Aires apartment on Jan. 18. He was found hours before he was to present evidence to Argentine lawmakers that Fernandez de Kirchner and other government officials covered up Iran’s role in the AMIA attack, which killed 85 and injured hundreds.

Clarin, the largest newspaper in Argentina, on Sunday reported the discovery of the draft warrant. On Monday, Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich in a news conference called the report a “lie and garbage” and ripped the article into several pieces in front of journalists and TV cameras.

Clarin on Tuesday published a copy of Nisman’s draft warrant in which he requests the arrests of Fernandez and Timerman, and requires them to remain in the country.

The document, which asked for stronger measures against the president than the document that was to finally be presented by Nisman, is dated June 2014.

Anibal Fernandez, secretary general of the presidency, said Tuesday that “somebody” prepared the warrant for Nisman in the last hours before he was to present it, and that the prosecutor just signed it.

Viviana Fein, the prosecutor investigating Nisman’s death, confirmed on Tuesday that Nisman had prepared the draft warrant, whose existence she had initially denied, according to the New York Times. Fein reported on Monday that the single bullet that killed Nisman entered near his ear at the back of his ear. The only DNA found at the crime scene was Nisman’s.