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Argentina Judge Orders Arrest of Ex-president over Iran Collusion

Argentina Judge Orders Arrest of Ex-president over Iran Collusion

Friday, 8 December, 2017 - 07:45
People hold placards that read ‘Justice’ during a rally in front of the headquarters of the AMIA , in Buenos Aires on January 21, 2015. (photo credit: Alejandro Pagni/AFP)

Argentina’s judiciary on Thursday ordered the arrest of former president Cristina Kirchner for allegedly covering up Iranian involvement in a 1994 bombing at a Buenos Aires Jewish center that left 85 people dead.

Judge Claudio Bonadio also called on the Senate to begin procedures to strip her of her parliamentary immunity, which requires a two-thirds majority, over charges of "treason," Agence France Presse reported.

Kirchner, 64, stands accused of signing a 2012 deal with Tehran to allow Iranian officials suspected of ordering the attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) -- which killed 85 people and wounded 300 -- to be investigated in their own country, rather than in Argentina.

The case is based on charges first leveled two years ago by prosecutor Alberto Nisman. He was found shot dead in his Buenos Aires apartment on January 18, 2015, four days after formally accusing Kirchner of a cover-up.

Kirchner, who has long claimed her legal woes are politically motivated, accused center-right President Mauricio Macri of "manipulating" the justice system to "persecute the opposition."

In a press conference she held on Thursday, the former president described Bonadio's main charge of "treason against the Fatherland" as "an insult to the intelligence of Argentines."

Argentina and Israel accuse Iran and Lebanon’s “Hezbollah” of involvement in the AMIA bombing. Several Iranian officials are on an Interpol wanted list in connection with the bombing blast. But no one has been brought to trial in the case.

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