An Argentinian judge has dismissed the accusation made by state prosecutors that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner conspired to cover up Iran’s alleged role in a deadly bombing in 1994.
Judge Daniel Rafecas ruled he would “discontinue” the case, which had been revived this month, after its initial prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, was found shot dead last month. “The evidence gathered far from meets the minimal standard,” a statement from the judiciary said.
Gerardo Pollicita, prosecuting, renewed Mr Nisman’s investigation into whether Ms Fernandez impeded the inquiry into the bombing to safeguard a grains-for-oil deal with Tehran. Mr Nisman had filed the complaint days before he died on 18 January under mysterious circumstances
Ms Fernandez called the claims “absurd”. Iran has consistently denied involvement in the attack on a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1994, which killed 85. Mr Pollicita is expected to appeal against the decision.
Argentina is to replace its spy agency with a new intelligence service under a bill approved by Congress yesterday in response to the scandal over Mr Nisman’s death.
The Chamber of Deputies voted 131-71 to create the Federal Intelligence Agency, which the government says will improve the accountability of espionage agents. President Fernandez’s government has claimed rogue agents tricked Mr Nisman into making false accusations against her.
Ms Fernandez’s chief of staff, Anibal Fernandez, said the agency will be up and running in 90 days, marking a “change of paradigm” that will improve the integrity of Argentina’s secret services.
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