Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio denied on Tuesday a request for the release of Argentine ex foreign minister Hector Timerman who will remain under house arrest as part of the case in which he was indicted for treason and cover up of the investigation into the 1994 AMIA Jewish organization attack in Buenos Aires.
The judge also instructed the former official to provide a daily report on the results of his medical condition given his delicate health situation, and following on the Prosecution recommendation that Timerman be allowed to leave Argentina to continue with cancer treatment overseas.
Defense solicitors Alejandro Rua and Graciana Penafort had requested that Timerman who is under house arrest, be granted release because of his fragile condition as a result of the major illness.
Timerman was indicted with preventive imprisonment because of his involvement in the Iran Memorandum, signed during the mandate of ex president Cristina Fernandez. However because of his health condition he is under house arrest. Last October the ex minister was summoned by Judge Bonadio for questioning on the case and presented a statement of defense rejecting the indictment, but suffered a breakdown and had to be taken straight from the court house to a clinic.
According to Bonadio, Timerman as head of Argentine diplomacy participated in the negotiations, drafting and signature of a Memorandum of Understanding with Iran, despite not having a minimum university education, much less legal knowledge, be it of criminal or international law.
Timerman drafted a document of such nature and significance without consulting experts or even worse, the specialized offices from the Argentine foreign ministry, sentenced Bonadio. He added that Timerman stated to have participated in the drafting of the Memorandum in a hotel of which he does not recall the name and with the sole company of his counterpart, the Iranian foreign minister Salehi, and only consulted, according to his own words, with Cristina Fernandez and Carlos Zanini, and the flew off to Ethiopia where he signed the document”.
Conclusion, or Hector Timerman is not saying the truth, which is very serious, or the Memorandum of Understanding was drafted by Iran and signed with no objections by Timerman, finalizes Bonadio in his sentencing.
The Memorandum of Understanding was agreed between Iran and the government of ex president Cristina Fenandez, in an attempt to advance with the case, the AMIA attack which left 84 people killed and dozens injured and is considered the worst terrorist attack ever in Argentina. Under the terms of the MoU, which was negotiated under total secrecy, Iranian officials allegedly responsible for the attack, would accept to be questioned about the case and later erased from an Interpol arrest red list.
When the document was made public, the Argentine congress after a long acrimonious debate finally approved it, but in Iran it was never even presented.
The Argentine opposition and many Jewish organizations stated it was a cover up attempt to let the Iranians off the case. Likewise since Argentina at the time was short of energy and hard currency allegedly the Iranians were prepared to exchange oil for Argentine grains and beef.