Argentine President Wanted Nisman Alive, Foreign Minister Says

Argentina’s Foreign Minister Hector Timerman denied the government was behind the death of the prosecutor who accused him and President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of graft.

“No. Absolutely no. The government wasn’t involved,” Timerman said in an interview with CNN. “Nobody wanted more Mr. Nisman to live and to answer the questions than the president and myself.”

Late prosecutor Alberto Nisman accused Fernandez of trying to absolve Iranian officials for their possible involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. He was found dead from a shot to the head in the bathroom of his apartment in the Argentine capital on Jan. 18, one day before he was scheduled to present evidence against the president and Timerman to congress.

The death of Nisman has triggered a political scandal after Fernandez first suggested he had committed suicide and later said he was murdered in a plot to discredit her government. In a 2,900 word statement posted on her personal website Jan. 22, Fernandez said “they used him alive and then needed him dead” without saying who she thought was behind the alleged conspiracy.

Nisman, who since 2004 had been the lead investigator into the 1994 bombing, said last week that a 2013 memorandum with Iran, which was publicly intended to clarify the events of the attack, was a deal to absolve Iranian officials in exchange for trade preferences.

The government has called Nisman’s allegations “weak,” saying that alleged spies named in the report never worked for the intelligence agency and that bilateral trade with Iran has fallen since the memorandum was signed.

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