An Argentine Federal Court Thursday dismissed all charges against current Vice President and former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner for the signing of Memorandum of Understanding with Iran to investigate the 1992 bombing of Israel's Embassy in Buenos Aires.
The ruling also benefitted former Deputy Foreign Minister Eduardo Zuain; current Treasury Attorney Carlos Zannini and his predecessor Angelina Abbona (currently Argentina's Ambassador to Moscow); Senator Oscar Parrilli; Deputy Justice Minister Juan Martín Mena; Andrés Larroque, a Buenos Aires provincial government official; as well as social leaders Luis D’Elía and Fernando Esteche and former intelligence agent Allan Bogado.
The case had been filed by the late Prosecutor Alberto Nisman days before his controversial death.
The decision was based because the case had been already dismissed but was only reopened during Mauricio Macri's presidency, when numerous meetings between the head of state and judges Gustavo Hornos and Mariano Borinsky were recorded, which “undoubtedly affected the impartiality and independence of the natural judge. Hornos and Borinsky had ordered the reopening of the case after meeting with Macri.
Federal Oral Court number eight, made up of judges María Gabriela López Iñíguez, Daniel Obligado and José Michilini, also dismissed the rest of the defendants, including the late Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, whose memory the defence teams wanted to be cleared.
The Memorandum of Understanding with Iran, regardless of whether it is considered a political success or failure, did not constitute a crime, the judges said. The Memorandum was never put into effect since it failed to meet its validity requirements before becoming an international treaty binding on the parties, so there has been no legal act as such from the point of view of international law, the court also found.
There is no direct element that forcefully makes us think that such a temperament went beyond a political decision to become an act of cover-up, says the nearly 400-page resolution.
The ruling also downplayed the figure of treason against the fatherland the late Judge Claudio Bonadio attributed to CFK. Since the Memorandum did not enter into force and since a state of war never existed between the Argentine Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran, it is possible to deduce that none of the behaviours listed here is likely to be framed in the figures of treason, the Court found.
The TOF8 stressed that according to the Argentine Constitution, treason against the Nation will only consist in taking up arms against it, or in joining its enemies by providing aid and relief and the term enemy only refers to a foreign power with which the country is in an open state of war.”
Judge López Iñíguez also maintained that Macri's involvement, in this case, was against Article 109 of the Constitution.
The ruling can nevertheless still be appealed.