BUENOS AIRES (May. 21)
Five years after the Israeli Embassy was razed by a terrorist bomb, the Argentine Supreme Court is considering closing its investigation of the unsolved attack.
The powerful explosion killed 29 people and wounded 250.
Apart from agreeing on the casualty figures, the court’s nine justices have yet to agree on how the March 17, 1992, attack was carried out. No suspects have been apprehended.
Justice Carlos Fayt is trying to get Argentine Jewish officials to agree to a “downgrading” of the investigation because of the lack of results and new evidence, according to local media reports.
But Ruben Beraja, president of the Argentine Jewish umbrella organization DAIA, said, “The court should keep on investigating the case.”
Last week, the court held a closed session in an apparent effort to resolve an ongoing controversy over where the bomb had been placed.
The two senior police officials who authored one technical study told the court why they believe a pick-up truck was used to deliver the bomb.
A team of three engineers, who conducted a separate study, reviewed why they think explosives were placed inside the embassy, at a point near the main entrance.
Both studies had been presented to the court previously, and no new evidence was presented by the authors.
“We learned nothing new,” said Justice Julio Nazareno.
One Argentine official described the 12-hour court session as “exhausting and pointless, a real waste of time and money.”
Yitzhak Aviran, Israel’s ambassador to Argentina, said this week that the court “should forget once and for all the pointless idea that the explosives were inside the building.”
He said the justices “should admit that Iran was behind the bombing, that the terrorists came from abroad and that Argentina has the duty to find their local accomplices and punish them.”
The Argentine government has been severely criticized for not resolving both the embassy attack and the July 18, 1994, bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Aid Association, also known as AMIA, which left 86 dead and more than 300 wounded.