Last week, an Argentine judge indicted his country’s former president, Cristina Kirchner, for her role in obstructing an investigation into Iran’s responsibility for the deadly bombing of a Jewish center over two decades ago. Now the country’s senate must determine whether to remove her presidential immunity so that a trial can take place. Mark Dubowitz and Toby Dershowitz explain what’s at stake:
From 2004 until 2015 . . . the [Argentinian] prosecutor Alberto Nisman tirelessly pursued the truth behind this crime. He knew from his investigation that the attack was an Iranian-planned operation. And he determined that President Kirchner was behind a cover-up designed to whitewash Iran’s role.
What drove Kirchner? Argentina faced deep economic problems at the time, and the financial benefits of closer relations with Iran might have tempted her. Her government also had populist ties to Iran and the Bolivarian bloc of nations led by Venezuela. . . .
When the federal judge Claudio Bonadio handed down the 491-page indictment against the former president, her foreign minister Hector Timerman, her handpicked intelligence chief, her top legal adviser, two pro-Iran activists, and ten others, he didn’t mince words. He called the attack on the Jewish community center an “act of war” by Iran and accused Kirchner of covering up the role of senior Iranian leaders and their Hizballah proxies in exchange for a trade deal. . . .
Three years ago, Nisman was set to testify to the country’s congress on Kirchner’s role in the cover-up. The day before his testimony . . . he was found dead in his apartment in Buenos Aires, with a bullet in his head. This, despite the fact that he had a ten-man security detail paid to protect him. . . . In a normal democracy, investigating the murder of a man like Alberto Nisman would be a top priority. But Kirchner and her allies assured that justice . . . was stymied for years.