Argentine site’s analysis of Nisman investigation shortlisted for media prize


(JTA) — An Argentine news outlet’s investigation into the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman was shortlisted for the global Data Journalism Awards.

The nominees were announced Tuesday in London.

La Nacion Data Argentina analyzed 40,000 audio recordings from the tapped phone of an Iranian agent over two years, publishing the findings and developing a news app to search by topic or person.

Nisman had accused the Argentine government of covering up Iran’s involvement in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center, which killed 85 and injured 300.

The data analysis conducted by 120 volunteers triggered three major findings related to Iranian terrorist activities in Argentina:



* Iran’s local community paid bail to help a local activist accused of being a member of the violent movement Quebracho;

* A national senator from an official government party was discovered to be an active lobbyist for the Iranian government in partnership with local businessmen;

* Iran financed a local activist movement in favor of the Kirchner government for leading demonstrations and protests against the U.S. Embassy.

A federal judge requested that evidence from the transcribed recordings be used in the investigation against former Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, who is accused of treason in Argentina in a lawsuit filed by fathers of two AMIA bombing victims.

The Argentine media company shares the shortlist for the Investigation of the Year award with The New York Times and Der Spiegel in Germany.

Launched in 2012, the Data Journalism Awards competition is organized by the Global Editors Network with support from the Google News Lab, Knight Foundation and Chartbeat.

Nisman, a Jewish prosecutor, was found shot to death 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 of the AMIA center in Buenos Aires. His allegations named then-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Timerman and the government as co-conspirators in a cover-up.

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

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