Argentina court reopens probe of ex-president in bomb case

By Associated Press 30 December 2016, 12:00AM

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — An Argentine court on Thursday ordered a renewed investigation into a prosecutor's accusation that former President Cristina Fernandez covered up the alleged involvement of Iranians in a 1994 attack against a Jewish community center.

The bombing of the center in Buenos Aires killed 85 people and wounded hundreds of others. Iran has denied any connection with the attack and declined to turn over the suspects in the case.

The country's top criminal tribunal accepted a request by a coalition of Argentine Jewish associations to re-examine the charge Alberto Nisman made on Jan. 14, 2015, against Fernandez, her Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and other officials in her government. The decision was reported by the official Center of Judicial Information.

Nisman was found dead with a gunshot to the head four days after filing his allegation. Authorities never determined if he was killed or took his own life.

Fernandez was president from 2007-2015. She has denied wrongdoing in the case.

The former president blames the accusation on what she says is the bias of judges following the orders of her successor, President Mauricio Macri, who took office in December 2015.

Santiago Kaplun, secretary general of the delegation of Jewish organizations, welcomed the court ruling, telling the Todo Noticias cable television channel that "we are very hopeful."

The ruling adds to legal complication for the former leader.

On Tuesday, a federal judge approved charges of illicit association and fraudulent administration against Fernandez, and two former aides: ex-Planning Minister Julio de Vido and former Public Works Secretary Jose Lopez. They are accused of misusing public money by paying inflated prices for public works contracts.

Fernandez also denies wrongdoing in that case.

By Associated Press 30 December 2016, 12:00AM

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