Argentine President Cristina Fernandez on Thursday morning took to social media once again to express her thoughts on the death of AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman making reference to “the suicide which -I am sure- was not a suicide.”
In another long letter — the second she has written since Nisman’s death —, the president said that the “real operation against the government was the prosecutor’s death” and she added: “They used him while he was alive and then they needed him dead. It is that sad and terrible.”
On her Web site, Fernandez said Alberto Nisman had been provided with false information that led him to seek to indict her, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and five other people in connection with 85 deaths in the explosion at the offices of the Jewish organization AMIA in Buenos Aires.
Nisman, 51, died Sunday was found shot to death early Monday, hours before he was due to appear before Congress to present his reasons for pursuing those indictments.
Police confirmed that the fatal shot came from the .22-caliber pistol found under Nisman's body inside a bathroom at his apartment in the capital's Puerto Madero neighborhood. The gun was fired at close range but no gunshot residue was found on his hands, perhaps due to the weapon's small caliber.
”Nisman didn't know it and probably never did. The true operation against the government was the prosecutor's death after he accused the president, the foreign minister and (lawmaker Andres Larroque) of covering up for Iranians accused in the AMIA terrorist attack, Fernandez said.
They used him while he was alive and then needed him dead. That's the sad, terrible story, the president added, without saying who killed Nisman.
In an earlier letter on Monday, the same day a preliminary autopsy was released indicating no third-party involvement in Nisman's death, Fernandez had appeared to accept the finding that he had committed suicide, asking what would lead a person to make the terrible decision to take his own life?
Since Monday, doubt has been cast on whether Nisman committed suicide by, among other things, statements by a locksmith who had been called by the prosecutor's mother to help her get into the apartment.
That locksmith has said the apartment's service door was closed but not locked and anyone could have easily entered the home. Nisman mother's pointed out that the service door actually had two locks, one of which she had opened before the locksmith was called in.
In her latest statement, Fernandez said two alleged state intelligence agents that Nisman had quoted in lodging his accusations NEVER belonged to the Intelligence Secretariat in any capacity.
The charges against Fernandez and Timerman were based on intercepts of telephone conversations about efforts to erase Iran from the AMIA case, Nisman's office said Jan. 14 in a statement.
The government wanted to eliminate any obstacle to forging closer trade and economic ties with Tehran, the prosecutor said.
Timerman - himself a member of Argentina's Jewish community - reacted angrily to the accusations, labeling Nisman a liar and saying that the prosecutor allowed himself to be unduly influenced by Jaime Stiuso, recently fired as chief of operations for the intelligence service.
Fernandez said that if the spies aren't spies ... if trade with Iran decreases instead of increases after the memorandum (a 2013 accord with Iran to jointly investigate the terror attack) ... if the government additionally never bought oil from Iran ... then (Nisman's accusations are) false.
On Thursday, opposition lawmakers railed against Fernandez after she posted her latest statement.
Sen. Ernesto Sanz, for his part, said if the president believes Nisman was killed, she must dismiss the heads of the Security Ministry.”
Many in the Argentine Jewish community believe the AMIA bombing was ordered by Iran and carried out by Tehran's Hezbollah allies.
Both the Iranian government and the Lebanese militia group deny any involvement and some have pointed out that the accusation relies heavily on information provided by the CIA and Israel's Mossad spy agency, both with an interest in blackening the reputation of Tehran.
To the indignation of many, both in Argentina and abroad, prosecutors have yet to secure a single conviction in the case.
In September 2004, 22 people accused in the bombing were acquitted after a process plagued with delays, irregularities and tales of witnesses' being paid for their testimony.
The attack against the AMIA building was the second terrorist strike against Jewish targets in Argentina. In March 1992, a car bomb was detonated in front of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people and wounding more than 100 others.