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Argentine President Denies Accusations of Cover Up

Sputnik News

20:45 13.02.2015(updated 22:14 13.02.2015)

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner denies accusations of a cover up attempt, after a new prosecutor in her case vows to go forward with the investigation.

Prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita announced that he is initiating an investigation into an alleged involvement of Fernandez, her Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, lawmaker Andres Larroque and other officials in using a 2013 memorandum with Iran to remove officials from that country from Interpol lists in exchange for trade preferences. The Iranian officials would be on an Interpol 'most wanted' list of people accused of crimes and other illicit activities and would be unable to do business with anyone or enjoy any diplomatic privileges. Prosecutors allege that Fernández tried to cover up Iran's involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires so that Argentina would get favorable prices for oil.

Pollicita declared that the investigation will go forward despite the mysterious death of the previous official in charge of the case.

The previous prosecutor, Alberto Nisman was found dead in his apartment on January 18, just a day before he was to present evidence that he claimed linked Fernández to the cover up. Initially Nisman's death was ruled a suicide, however police found no evidence to substantiate this claim.

Investigators later found in his trash can a draft of an arrest warrant for the president and her foreign minister.

'An investigation will be initiated with an eye toward substantiating the accusations and whether those responsible can be held criminally responsible,' Policita announced in a written statement.

Fernández de Kirchner and other government officials vehemently deny the allegations. The Argentine president contends that she never made an agreement with Iran over anything, and that this whole incident is part of a conspiracy perpetuated by her political opponents in her last year as head of the government. The courts had initially agreed with the president and declined to look into the matter, but Nisman's mysterious death forced officials to reopen the investigation.

Argentine government spokesman Aníbal Fernández dismissed the charges, saying, 'They have absolutely no judicial weight whatsoever. It looks like they're already trying to condemn her and say she's guilty. But it has no connection to reality and it's not as important as some think it is,' he added, according to El Pais.

Under Argentine law, Fernández de Kirchner cannot be prosecuted without being stripped of immunity, but she is leaving office at the end of the year.


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