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Argentinian president faces impeachment threats over AMIA comments

Argentinian president faces impeachment threats over AMIA comments
Relatives of the victims of the AMIA attack are still in search of justice over 25 years after the bombing. Photo: Consciously/Shutterstock

Based on a possible infringement against the Constitution, opposition parties in Argentina on Thursday promised to file an impeachment request against President Alberto Fernández. 

The move follows controversial comments by Mr. Fernández, who said that he hoped “what happened to [the late Prosecutor Alberto] Nisman” doesn’t happen “with Prosecutor Diego Luciani,” who earlier this week requested a 12-year prison sentence for Vice President Cristina Kirchner over corruption allegations.

Alberto Nisman died in 2015 under suspicious circumstances, after investigating the still unsolved bombings of a Buenos Aires Jewish center (known for its acronym, AMIA) in 1994. Prior to his death, Mr. Nisman had accused the Iranian government of approving and funding the attack — and said Ms. Kirchner, who in 2015 was head of state, had colluded with Tehran to bury the investigation.

The Kirchner government had struck a deal with Iran, a diplomatic ally of Buenos Aires, for the establishment of a “truth commission” that would allow Argentinian judges the chance to interview the suspects. Mr. Nisman considered the negotiations between both governments a criminal conspiracy.

Mr. Nisman’s body was found on the eve of a scheduled testimony before Congress, when he was to detail his accusations. The case quickly became surrounded with conspiracy theories.

President Fernández insisted that Mr. Nisman killed himself. “Nothing else was proven,” he told reporters. 

However, a September 2017 report by the prosecutor investigating Mr. Nisman’s death ruled it murder. 

The president himself supported these findings, saying in a 2017 interview for a Netflix documentary on the case that he “doubted [Mr.] Nisman had committed suicide.” His about-face came after he teamed up with Cristina Kirchner in the 2019 elections.

Mario Negri, a congressman in the opposition, said Mr. Fernández’s statements about Messrs. Nisman and Luciani was as “more typical of a mafia code than of a president.”