BUENOS AIRES – Three weeks after the death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, the case continues to be plagued by enigmas, while the opposition is preparing to demand this week that Congress clear up the matter.
Nisman was found dead with a single bullet wound to the head in the bathroom of his Buenos Aires apartment on Jan. 18, and since then the prosecutor in charge of the case, Viviana Fein, has ordered several investigatory measures that so far have not managed to shed any definitive light on whether it was murder or suicide.
Expectations are focusing now on the testimony of Antonio “Jaime” Stiuso, former head of the Operations division of the Argentine Intelligence Secretariat, or SIDE, who cooperated with Nisman in the investigation of the deadly 1994 terrorist attack on the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.
The Argentine government cleared the way last Thursday for Stiuso to answer questions regarding Nisman’s death and share with Fein any classified information relevant to the case.
Nisman died hours before he was due to brief Congress about his accusation that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and five other people tried to conceal the involvement of Iran in the attack on the Jewish organization.
According to the investigation, Nisman was in telephone contact with Stiuso’s cellphone a day before his death, although it is not clear with whom he may have spoken.
The government is pointing to the former agent as the instigator of an operation that led Nisman to present, four days before his death, the complaint against Fernandez.
So far, the only person indicted in the case has been Diego Lagomarsino, who worked with the prosecutor and delivered to him the weapon that killed him and was found with his corpse.
Civil organizations, political leaders and cultural figures on Sunday published in Argentine newspapers a demand that the “truth” be found regarding Nisman’s death and that the AMIA attack and the prosecutor’s complaint against the president be cleared up.
In the document, the signers ask the Supreme Court to monitor and guarantee that all investigations move forward properly.
The July 18, 1994, AMIA attack killed 85 people and wounded 300 and came two years after a car bomb exploded outside the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people and wounding about 100.
The investigation and many in Argentina’s Jewish community blame Iran and Hezbollah for planning and carrying out both attacks.