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Menem, six others indicted in AMIA obstruction

BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Former Argentina President Carlos Menem and six others who served under him were indicted for obstructing the investigation of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA center.

Federal Judge Ariel Lijo accused Menem, who was president from 1989 to 1999; his brother Munir Menem; former judge Juan Jose Galeano; former intelligence agency head Hugo Anzorreguy; former police chief Jorge “Fino” Palacios; and two others of being "abettors of concealment, ideological falseness, disruption of proof and authority abuse" in the aftermath of the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish community center, which killed 85 people and wounded hundreds.

Lijo imposed a bond on Menem and the others but did not order their confinement. Palacios, who returned to the police chief post earlier this year, was forced out in August because of his suspected involvement in the bombing.

Argentine authorities believe Hezbollah, backed by Iran, was behind attack. It has long been suspected that senior Argentine officials quashed the inquiry in the investigation’s aftermath under pressure and inducement from Iran.

The new indictments bring to 10 those awaiting trial for obstructing the investigation.

Argentina is also seeking the extradition of seven Iranians, including the current defense minister, for their alleged roles in the attack.

"We knew about the concealment since the very first moments after the attack," Adriana Reisfeld, the president of Memoria Activa, a group of victims’ relatives and their supporters, told JTA.  "We have been waiting for this moment for 15 years. The concealment now is as punishable as the attack itself. The question is, what have they concealed?” 

Reisfeld is the sister of Noemi Reisfeld, an AMIA social worker who died in the attack.

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