BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Argentine judges reviewing treason charges against a former foreign minister admitted as evidence a recording of him speaking about Iranian involvement in the 1994 terrorist attack on the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.
The justices of the federal appeals court ruled last week to admit the 2012 recording of Hector Timerman, who is Jewish. The ex-foreign minister is heard justifying the negotiations with Iran to jointly investigate the AMIA attack, even though he is heard saying the Islamic Republic was responsible for the bombing, which killed 85 people.
“If there was someone else, they [the Iranians] wouldn’t have planted the bomb. So we are back to the beginning. Do you have someone else for me to negotiate with?” Timerman said in the recording, which came from a telephone conversation he had with then-AMIA president Guillermo Borger – an opponent of Argentina’s brief collaboration with Iran on the investigation.
Last December, federal prosecutor Eduardo Taiano launched a probe against Timerman for alleged treason and planning a cover up. In addition to Timerman, ex-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is also being probed for alleged treason, along with members of Congress who in February 2103 voted for the controversial memorandum of understanding with Iran that initiated the joint investigation of the AMIA attack. Western intelligence agencies and Argentina’s own judiciary said the bombing was Iran’s doing.
The agreement was voided by Argentina’s current president, Mauricio Macri, who was elected in October.
Separately, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI director James Comey on Thursday met in Washington, D.C., with Argentine Justice Minister Germán Garavano and offered to extend technical help with the investigation into the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman, the special prosecutor investigating the AMIA bombing who was found dead in his apartment hours before he was to present evidence to Argentine lawmakers that Kirchner and others covered up Iran’s role in the attack.