NEWS DESK | It was four years ago that Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was murdered in his home during an investigation into who was behind the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. Having believed to have proof that Iranians collaborated with Argentinians — including complicity of President Cristina Kirchner — Nisman was prepared to come forward with his findings before the assassination. Was Iran, believed to be the culprit of the embassy bombing, behind his murder, too? Our Damian Pachter has the story.
Argentine prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, led the investigation into the 1994 terror attack against the Jewish Community Centre of Buenos Aires. Eighty-five people were killed; hundreds injured.
Appointed in 2004 by the Argentinian President Nestor Kirchner’s administration, Nisman began to collect evidence and arrived at the conclusion that the terror plot originated in Iran and was executed by its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah.
But a strange thing happened in 2013 — behind closed doors, Argentina and Iran signed an MOU to investigate the 1994 attack together; even though Iran was already presumed to be the perpetrator.
For Nisman, this was a stab in the back, a betrayal and an act of treason by the same government who had previously appointed him.
So, he doubled his efforts and continued with his probe, but only this time, he focused on the country’s president, Cristina Kirchner, and other high ranking officials. On January 14, 2015, he announced what he defined as ‘the criminal plot’, saying, ‘On January 2011, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner ordered her foreign minister to clear the Iranians from the AMIA [bombing] case.’
Nisman probed Iran’s deep infiltration of the government echelons by agents who acted on their behalf.
Four day later and 12 hours before appearing in parliament to present his case before the Argentine congress, Prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead in a pool of blood and a gunshot wound to his head.
President Fernandez de Kirchner and her supporters immediately announced it was suicide. Many in the public considered it murder and a government cover-up.
In an interview with i24NEWS’ Damian Pachter, Ram Ben Barak, former deputy of Israeli intelligence agency ‘Mossad’ and director general of the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence Services at the time of Nisman’ death, suggested Israel has information regarding those responsible for the prosecutor’s murder.
Could Iran be behind the prosecutor’s death?
‘It’s a possibility. For sure they have a very big interest that he will not go with his report. They have the motivation to do it for sure,’ Ben Barak claims.
Asked if Israel would have acted to prevent Nisman’s death and if they had precise intel beforehand, the former Mossad deputy director was categorical.
‘Of course we would act. Of course! What a question! When Israel has information about a terror attack, not only if the target is an Israeli target or a Jewish target — even if it’s not,’ Ben Barak says. ‘We always act to avoid that, because we think that terror is something we need to fight against it.’
And does Israel know who is behind Nisman’s death?
‘I think we have a very good reason to think we know who did it, so yes,’ says Ben Barak.
i24NEWS asked another former high-ranking Mossad official, Shabtai Shavit, if he, too, thinks Iran was behind Nisman’s death.
‘Not necessarily, could be some local domestic assassins. Not necessarily Iranians,’ Shavit claims.
Regardless of differences of opinion within Israeli Intelligence members as to who is responsible for Nisman’s death, two former high-ranking Mossad officials says one thing is clear: This was not a suicide.