Noga Tarnopolsky, Special for the USA TODAY
Published 9:57 a.m. ET ET December 7, 2017 | Updated 12:48 p.m. ET December 7, 2017
BUENOS AIRES – A federal judge on Thursday asked the Argentine Senate to allow the arrest of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner accused of treason for allegedly covering up the paper of the Iranians in a bomb attack in 1994 against a Jewish center.
Judge Claudio Bonadio asked lawmakers to eliminate Kirchner's immunity from arrest, which he won when he took office as senator last week.
Bonadio also ordered the arrest of several collaborators and allies of Kirchner, including former presidential secretary Carlos Zannini and activist Luis D & # 39; Elia on the same charges. Former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman received orders of house arrest due to health problems. Bonadio reopened the case against Kirchner after another federal judge had dismissed him in February 2015.
Kirchner described the case as "absurd" and denied having committed a fault against the worst terrorist attack in Argentina: the July 1994 against a Jewish Center in Buenos Aires, which left 85 dead and hundreds injured.
Kirchner, who was president from 2007 to 2015, has faced accusations of financial malfeasance and abuse of power since he left office, "but this is a completely different crime nature," said Ricardo Saenz, an Argentine federal prosecutor. "You just can not compare it." I have said all along: the president betrayed his own citizens by agreeing to block justice for the murders of his own citizens. Everything else is insignificant. "
The search for justice was hampered by years of corruption in the bombing investigation, which Israel and the United States attributed to Hezbollah, the terrorist group backed by Iran.
In an attempt to clarify the matter, Kirchner's late husband, Néstor, appointed federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman to lead the investigation in 2004.
After dedicating nearly a decade to the case, Nisman obtained Interpol "red warnings" or arrest warrants against the five official Iranian highs that he identified as the masterminds of the bombing.
In 2011, the revelation in Argentina, immediately denied, unleashed that Kirchner had signed a secret memorandum with the Iranian government that would have resulted in the lifting of the red notices, which Interpol maintained on behalf of the Argentine government.
Writing in the independent property newspaper Perfi l investigative journalist Pep e Eliaschev detailed the secret trips and machinations of Timerman, who led negotiations on behalf of Kirchner, to reach an agreement that would have nullified Nisman's efforts to prosecute the defendants.
Eliaschev died of cancer in November 2014. The existence of the secret Memorandum with Iran was tested months earlier.
On January 14, 2015, Nisman filed treason charges against Kirchner, then acting president, accusing her of negotiating justice for 85 dead Argentines. Days later, Nisman was found dead of a bullet.
Kirchner initially said that the prosecutor had committed suicide, a claim sustained by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. But in October of 2017, the Argentine gendarmerie declared that Nisman was killed by two individuals who invaded his house. No one has been charged on the death of the prosecutor.
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