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Argentina Accuses Israeli Envoy of Interfering in Its Domestic Affairs in the Timerman Case

The Argentine Foreign Ministry has accused outgoing Israeli Ambassador Ram Nirgad of “clearly and openly” interfering in Argentine domestic affairs by calling for the release of Jacobo Timerman, the former editor and publisher of La Opinion, now under house arrest here.

Nirgad, in an interview with the local news agency Noticias Argentinas, said that Timerman is “at the moment in limbo” but should be freed and as a Jew he has a right to live in Israel. “I am not a judge but Argentine judges must be respected,” he said. “Timerman was tried and found not guilty by both military and civil courts, the verdict being that he was not a subversive.”

The Israeli Ambassador said he has discussed the Timerman case with the government several times. The Foreign Ministry summoned Nirgad to complain about his statement to the news agency. Timerman was arrested without charges more than two years ago, but was ordered released by the Argentine Supreme Court last year. But since then he has been held under house arrest in his apartment. His wife is with him but his three sons are in Israel.