An Argentine judge today dismissed the case against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner for allegedly shielding Iranian officials from prosecution over the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center.
Prosecutors had tried to revive the case against President Kirchner and some members of her administration, arguing that they planned to cover up Iran's involvement in the worst terrorist attack in Argentine history, in exchange for favorable deals with Iranian oil producers.
The investigation had been started by Alberto Nisman, a prosecutor who died mysteriously last month after accusing Kirchner of protecting Iranians. Nisman died just a day before he was supposed to present evidence that he said linked her to the cover up.
Judge Daniel Rafecas said he threw out the case because the documents that Nisman originally filed failed to meet the standards needed to open a formal judicial investigation. Fernández de Kirchner has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, saying that "from the very beginning, this was a plot concocted by my enemies to try to bring my government down."
She alleged that two US hedge funds who are involved in a long legal dispute over payments of Argentina's debt might be behind this case, trying to replace her administration with one that will be more willing to agree to creditors' demands. Argentina renegotiated its $100 billion debt with a majority of its bondholders except for those two hedge funds — NML Capital and Aurelius Capital Management, both of whom have demanded full repayment of the nearly $2 billion they are owed and have sued Argentina.
At an economic forum last fall in Buenos Aires, Fernández de Kirchner charged that US interests and political enemies in Argentina were trying to topple her government and could even try to harm her physically. "If something were to happen to me, and I am serious, don't look to the East, please look up to the North."
Fernández de Kirchner's term ends at the end of this year.