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High Court Reinstates Judge Investigating Embassy Blast

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The Israeli ambassador and the leadership of the Jewish community here sharply criticized the Argentine Supreme Court’s refusal to accept the resignation of Justice Ricardo Levene from the investigation of the March 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires.

In early November, Levene offered to step down from the case after Israeli Ambassador Itzhak Aviran and Ruben Beraja, the president of the Jewish umbrella organization DAIA, asked him to dismiss himself because of what they called the lack of any progress in the investigation.

Beraja at the time labeled the investigation “fossilized” and pointed at the “total lack of results,” saying that there were “no arrests, no evidence gathered” in the attack that left 29 dead.

But last Friday, the Supreme Court refused to remove Levene from the case, calling his investigation “impeccable” and “within due process.”

Court members privately said they did not want to appear as having been “manipulated” by local and foreign pressures.

Under Argentine law, the Supreme Court investigates all cases involving foreign diplomats and embassies.

In a statement, Aviran said the court’s decision “means in fact that Argentina is not going to investigate the case any more.”

Alberto Crupnicoff, president of the Jewish communal organization AMIA, called the court’s decision “irresponsible,” adding that “it is one more item added to the long list of unpunished abuse in this country.”

In addition to its criticism of the investigation into the embassy bombing, the Argentine Jewish community has likewise been sharply critical of the government’s investigation of the July 18, 1994, bombing of the AMIR building, the Jewish community’s headquarters here.

Only one person, Carlos Telleldin, has been charged in connection with the 1994 bombing, which left 87 dead and at least 300 wounded. He was accused of selling the van used in the attack.

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