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ARGENTINA | 12-04-2024 15:06

La Libertad Avanza celebrates court ruling blaming 1990s terrorist attacks on Irán

Ruling party and PRO leaders celebrate Thursday's court decision, while attacking Kirchnerism for an alleged “cover up” and “treason."

President Javier Milei’s government on Thursday celebrated a court ruling blaming Iran for two deadly attacks on Israeli targets in Buenos Aires three decades ago.

The ruling on Thursday, cited by press reports, said Iran had ordered a 1992 attack on the Israeli Embassy and another in 1994 on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) Jewish community centre, oth in Buenos Aires.

The court also implicated the Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah and called the attack against the AMIA – the deadliest in Argentina's history – a "crime against humanity."

Reacting to the rulings, the Office of the President said in a statement that the ruling “puts an end to decades of postponement and cover up.”

The release published by the Government emphasised “the significant advance in the judicial environment” and at the same time reported “the repeated attempts by Kirchnerism to cover up Iran’s liability and postpone this historic ruling, while betraying the Homeland in 2013.”

The statement also slammed the controversial 2013 Memorandum of Understanding between Argentina and Iran, which never entered into force but nevertheless “promoted and ensured terrorist impunity,” said the statement.

The terrorist attack on the Israeli Embassy took place on March 17, 1992, claiming 22 lives and leaving over 240 wounded. The attack on the AMIA centre, also in Buenos Aires City, was committed on July 18, 1994, with a death toll of 85 and some 300 wounded.

“President Milei has asserted since the start of his term of office the absolute independence of the Judiciary. The Federal Criminal Court of Appeals was able to perform its function in total freedom, with no pressure, to dispense the Justice which both victims and their relatives have awaited for decades,” the release awdded.

The ruling was delivered by Judges Carlos Mahiques, Diego Barroetaveña and Angela Ledesma, who established that the attack on AMIA was organised, planned, financed and executed by members of organisations reporting organically, functionally and ideologically to one State (as is the case of Hezbollah).

With the exception of Kirchnerite figures, in the course of Thursday several leaders belonging to different parties posted in favour of the ruling on social networks.

Buenos Aires City Mayor Jorge Macri pointed out that “the Criminal Court of Appeals’ ruling on the AMIA terrorist attack, which happened nearly 30 years ago in our city, is an essential step towards achieving the justice expected for far too long.”

“We want a City where we can live freely and peacefully. That is why we repeat our claim for full justice every day and we respectfully remember the victims,” the PRO leader stressed.

PRO lawmakers Cristian Ritondo and Fernando Iglesias went in the same direction, while they threw darts at Peronism.

On the other hand, Memoria Activa, the civil association involved in the AMIA case, stated its discontent with the way the victims’ relatives first learned about the court decision.

“The Criminal Court of Appeals’ decision came out. How did we, the relatives and complainants, find out? Did we hear about it from Mahiques’ chambers? No. We found out about it in the press. It seems that not only are we denied the right to truth and justice; but also respect,” the organisation complained.

Judge Carlos Mahiques, in a radio interview, spoke about Prosecutor Alberto Nisman as follows: “He knew very well that all these circumstances were at the origin of the AMIA attack, which, taken to the extreme, he could have had tangible results before this ruling”.

As for the decision, the magistrate held that “it’s not just about establishing criminal liability, but to put into context what is in my opinion the most serious terrorist attack in this country”.

On that point, the Judge argued that “the terrorist act itself has a matrix that goes from the ideological to the religious, and responds to a scatological, apocalyptic programme which intends to create a sort of universal caliphate”.

On Friday, Mahiques spoke about the decision he made with his colleagues and repeated its judicial importance.

Yet he also took the chance to highlight the figure of former AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who died in January 2015 after reporting then-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner for allegedly covering up Iran’s supposed responsibility in the AMIA attack through the ill-fatedMemorandum of Understanding.

The former president denies the allegations.

Nisman’s body was found on the night of Sunday, January 18, that year, with some proposing the theory of suicide and others allegeing he was killed.



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