Prosecutor probing secret Argentine-Iran deal ‘feared for life’

An Argentine state prosecutor, who probed an alleged secret pact between Argentina and Iran involving the bombing of Israeli targets in Buenos Aires, had expressed fears for his life just days before he was found dead. Alberto Nisman’s body was found on January 19 in the bathroom of his apartment, which had been locked from the inside. His death came hours before he was due to give Congressional testimony relating to his allegations that the government of Argentina had allowed Iranian agents to bomb Israeli targets in the country, in exchange for energy and defense deals.

Nisman had prompted international headlines shortly before his death, after he launched a criminal complaint against the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hector Timerman, and several other notable personalities of Argentine life. He accused them of having colluded with the government of Iran to bomb the Israeli embassy and a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires in the mid-1990s. A dozen people died in the bombing of the embassy, while another 85 were killed two years later, when the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) community center in the Argentine capital was bombed. Under the alleged deal, Tehran would be allowed to target the Jewish community in Buenos Aires in exchange for lucrative commercial deals with Argentina, involving oil and arms exports.

Argentine authorities say they believe Nisman killed himself with a single shot to the head from a .22 caliber handgun. His death occurred despite a 10-member police protection team that had been assigned to him by the Argentine government. The security detail was assigned to him following his claims that he had prepared a 300-page report on the matter of Iranian activities in Buenos Aires, which allegedly included material from wiretaps given to him by senior Argentine intelligence officials.

On Wednesday, Diego Lagomarsinoa, who was a close associate of Nisman, and the last known person to see him alive, said the prosecutor had confided in him that he feared for his safety, as well as for the safety of his family. He also allegedly said that he didn’t trust his police protection team. Speaking at a news conference in Buenos Aires, Lagomarsinoa said he had given Nisman the .22 caliber handgun that he is believed to have used to kill himself. He said he gave him the gun for protection. Lagomarsinoa, a computer expert, has been charged with providing a firearm to a non-registered individual, which is a criminal offense in Argentina. He is the only person to have been charged in Nisman’s death so far.

5 Responses to Prosecutor probing secret Argentine-Iran deal ‘feared for life’

  1. Aaron says:

    You gave the wrong information. The door was not locked on the inside. The locksmith clearly stated in police interviews that although he was given a key to enter, when he touched the door handle it was in fact unlocked!!

  2. intelNews says:

    @Aaron, do you have a link for this information? Was this in an Argentine news report? [JF]

  3. News from Clarin & La Nacion and numberless TV programs. The locksmith was called to open the service door because the main entrance had an electronic device, and the mother could n´t remember the numeral sequence. The locksmith opened the door with a piece of wire , because though the door was unlocked the door in the keyhole prevented the entrance, Nisman´s body layed behind the OPEN bathroom door. He had a shot behind his right ear 3 cms above the medium part of the year and about the same distance behind it. He had another two handguns registered at his name besides that being prosecutor he could have had any arm, so why shooting himself at such impossible angle and with a caliber which does n´t assure to be killed or leave you quadriplegic .
    The first to arrive was Berni, Security Undersecretary, before the judge or the prosecutor, asked
    by the opposition to the house to give an explanation he didn’t show. F Kirchner first tweeted that he had shot himself and after changed to a murder , none of this by the usual Chane radio which he usually uses for unimportant communications.
    To the moment nothing is known for sure of the 300 hundred pages indictment against Fernandez or her Chancellor,nor of a similar number of CD´s recordings of telephone interceptions, which include minor operators.
    As of late intents are being made to peg the murder on Stiusso , strong man of the intel agency for the last 10 or more years.
    Whoever is responsible the reasons are quite clear though my guess is that it´l never will be found out , since this is one more of a long list of power murders

  4. intelNews says:

    We received the following information from a knowledgeable source with investigative experience (posted here with source’s permission): “I read on Foxnews (a great source I know…) that no gunshot residue (GSR) was found on the prosecutor’s hands, and that the fact that the gun was a .22 means not much residue would be found. Purely from an investigative point of view, .22 caliber weapons don’t leave GSR, not because of the amount of propellant, but because of the design of the shell (rimfire). I have had suicide and homicide cases that have been impacted by that fact and firearms experts with our state forensic laboratory have confirmed this fact to me during these cases. The lack of GSR in a death investigation involving a .22 would have no evidentiary value”. [JF]

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