Fathers of AMIA bombing victims added as plaintiffs in investigation of possible coverup


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — The fathers of two AMIA Jewish center bombing victims have been named as plaintiffs in a case against former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, which could reopen the investigation of the government’s role into a possible cover-up of Iran’s part in the 1994 bombing.

That investigation was being led by Alberto Nisman, a Jewish prosecutor who was found dead on Jan. 18, 2015 hours before he was to present his allegations of a secret deal to cover up Iranian officials’ alleged role in the bombing. His allegations named Kirchner, former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and their government.

Whether Nisman’s shooting death in his own apartment was murder or self-inflicted has yet to be determined.

A federal judge subsequently dismissed Nisman’s complaint against Kirchner and other government officials for lack of evidence.

On Tuesday, however, Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio accepted a request made by two fathers of AMIA bombing victims to be considered as plaintiffs in a renewed case against Kirchner and Timerman, along with members of Congress who in February 2103 voted for a controversial memorandum of understanding with Iran that initiated a joint investigation of the AMIA attack. The memorandum was criticized by the United States and Jewish leaders, among others, for involving the Iranian regime in the search for answers surrounding the bombing.

The memorandum of understanding was voided in December by Argentine President Mauricio Macri, a week after he took office.

Since December, Judge Bonadio has been in charge of investigating a complaint based on secretly recorded phone conversations from 2012 in which Timerman, who is Jewish and was negotiating the agreement with Tehran, seemed to acknowledge that Iran was responsible for the bombing. Critics of Timerman say the conversation confirms his intention to whitewash Tehran’s role.

The two plaintiffs are Luis Czyzewski and Mario Averbuch, fathers of Paola Czyzewski and Yanina Averbuch, who died in the 1994 terrorist attack that killed 85 people. In a written request, the fathers asked the judge to analyze the 2015 Nisman complaint against the last Argentinean administration.

Simultaneously, the Argentinean Jewish political umbrella DAIA asked Federal Judge Daniel Rafecas to reopen the investigation.

Rafecas, the judge who rejected the Nisman accusation, ruled in March that no new evidence has come to light and that the case is already closed due to the absence of a proven criminal offense.

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