BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The prosecutor who inherited a high-profile case against Argentine President Cristina Fernandez on Friday reaffirmed the accusations, formally renewing the investigation into whether the president helped Iranian officials cover up their alleged role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre.
Prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita’s decision to go forward with the case was significant because it sets the stage for a close examination of the investigation that prosecutor Alberto Nisman was building before he was found dead Jan. 18.
Nisman had accused Fernandez, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and others in her administration of brokering the cover up in exchange for favourable deals on oil and other goods from Iran. Fernandez has strongly denied the accusations, and Iran has repeatedly denied involvement in the bombing, which killed 85 people.
Pollicita will present his finding to judge Daniel Rafecas, the federal magistrate assigned to the case who will ultimately decide whether to dismiss it or send it on to trial.
Even before Pollicita’s decision, amid rumours that it was coming, the administration was moving to both reject and minimize it.
Speaking to reporters early Friday, Presidential spokesman Anibal Fernandez said moving the case forward was a “clear manoeuvr to destabilize democracy” but that ultimately “it has no legal value. It does not matter.”