WASHINGTON (JTA) — On Jan. 18, 2015, Argentine terrorism prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head in what was almost certainly murder, not suicide. Whoever murdered him didn’t just want to kill him but rather his body of work. They wanted to bury the revelations he was about to make the very next day in front of the country’s Congress.
Nisman was in charge of investigating the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center that killed 85 people, making it Argentina’s deadliest terrorist attack. He assembled compelling evidence against senior Iranian officials whom he accused of masterminding the bombing. In 2007, on the basis of evidence compiled by Nisman, Interpol issued red notices for five Iranian officials. These red notices, akin to international arrest warrants, remain a black mark on their reputation.
In the case he was due to present in person to Congress, Nisman revealed other devastating evidence, this time against Argentina’s then-president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Nisman had legally secured thousands of wiretaps of Kirchner allies, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and Iranian agents operating in Argentina. Nisman said the wiretaps and other evidence proved Kirchner was plotting to find a way to lift the red notices and buy immunity for the Iranian officials he held responsible for the AMIA attack in exchange for expanded trade with Argentina.
Nisman’s exhaustive investigations also found that Iran used its embassies, mosques and cultural centers to radicalize and recruit from the local population.
While Nisman’s death precluded him from presenting his accusations to the Congress, and Kirchner supporters spent almost two years deliberately keeping the complaint from being investigated in the courts, this month an Argentine court agreed to open an investigation into the allegations he assembled.
Some of the wiretaps discussed fabricating “new evidence” that would have been presented to a joint Iran-Argentina “truth commission” that Kirchner had negotiated with Iran purportedly to jointly investigate the AMIA bombing. Nisman believed the truth commission, part of a 2013 Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries, was a mechanism to whitewash Iran’s role in the AMIA attack. The memorandum was found to be unconstitutional before anything moved forward.
According to one account, one of those heard on the wiretaps, a Kirchner supporter, discussed inventing a culprit for the…