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In Argentina : Judge orders arrest of ex-president Cristina Kirchner

In Argentina : Judge orders arrest of ex-president Cristina Kirchner”

A judge in Argentina yesterday ordered the arrest of former president Cristina Kirchner on charges of 'treason against the fatherland'.

She has previously called the case an "absurdity".

Bonadio also ordered the arrest of former foreign minister Hector Timerman and several other former officials in the Kirchner governments, including former top aide Carlos Zannini.

Fernandez and the other defendants have repeatedly denied wrongdoing or involvement in any cover-up involving Argentina's worst terror attack, the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people and wounded hundreds.

But on Thursday, Judge Claudio Bonadio accused Mrs Kirchner of the crime of treason and asked for Congress to remove the immunity from prosecution she has as a senator.

Kirchner allegedly offered immunity to Iranian suspects in exchange for Iranian oil.

Senator Kirschner, the President of Argentina from 2007-2015, is accused of signing a deal that allowed Iranian officials suspected of ordering the synagogue attack to be interviewed by Argentine magistrates in Tehran rather than in Buenos Aires.

Alberto Nisman
Alberto Nisman. REUTERS Marcos Brindicci

The Senate, which is due to convene on December 10, will now have to consider a vote on lifting her immunity at the judge's request, for which a two-thirds majority is needed.

Though the prosecutor's death was initially classified as a suicide, an official investigating the case has said the shooting appeared to be a homicide.

The case is based on a complaint filed by prosecutor Alberto Nisman in January 2015, four days before he was fatally shot in the head.

Argentina's top criminal court previous year accepted a request by a coalition of Jewish associations to re-examine the charge against Fernandez, Timerman and other officials originally made by Nisman on 14 January 2015.

Her political clout has since faded with the victory of center-right President Mauricio Macri in elections later that year, but the populist firebrand now seeks a comeback as leading the opposition against Mr. Macri.

Several prominent members of her former government have been detained on corruption charges in recent weeks, including ex-public works minister Julio De Vido and Amado Boudou, Kirchner's vice president from 2011 to 2015. The Iranian-backed Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah has been implicated in both atrocities, but no one has ever been convicted.



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