Prosecutor Alberto Nisman turned up dead in his Buenos Aires apartment hours before a congressional testimony he claimed would expose a deep web of corruption and terrorism between his government and Iran’s. Now, Argentines are livid at shifting government efforts to deflect blame for his death.
President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner faces the brunt of their anger. She’s serving out her second and final term before October elections, and now she might not avoid leaving in scandal. After initially reporting that Nisman committed suicide, she said he may have been killed due to a dispute in Argentine intelligence circles.
But the coincidence of Nisman’s looming testimony and his death has proven too large for protesting Argentines to ignore. Nisman said he would implicate Iranian officials and Hezbollah in the bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AIMA) community center that killed 85 just over 20 years ago – as well as a coverup by the Fernandez government carried out to improve their access to Iranian oil.
Nisman was found with one fatal bullet wound to the head and a pistol on the floor near his body – but there were no indications he was suicidal. His testimony files were organized just feet away, and he’d given his housekeeper a shopping list for the following week.
In the past few days, an Argentine journalist at the forefront of the story fled the country saying he feared for his life.
It’s a murder mystery of international intrigue that may have no quick resolution — for Nisman’s supporters and loved ones, or for those of the AIMA bombing that have been waiting even longer for justice.
Nisman is already being called the “86th victim” of that tragedy.