They say one man’s trash is another one’s treasure. And it seems that might just be true, as Argentina’s daily Clarin revealed investigators found (and kept mum about) a draft of an arrest warrant for President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in the garbage can of trailblazing prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who died under mysterious circumstances.
The news comes as the latest plot twist of an eerie death that has gripped Argentines and international media outlets alike since news first broke Jan. 18.
Nisman’s lifeless body was discovered in a pool of blood in his bathroom the night before he was due to testify before Argentina’s congress about Kirchner’s alleged involvement in quashing prosecution efforts against Iran, which was suspected in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.
“During my presentation, I have laid out the deliberate plan to cover up and disassociate Iranian fugitives from the investigation about the AMIA attack,” according to the document that was presumably typed up by Nisman. Paragraphs later, he urges that Kirchner be arrested immediately.
Nisman’s death has yet to be ruled a murder or suicide.
But his passing has become a modern-day Pandora’s box for Argentina, revealing all kinds of top state secrets, from business deals with Tehran gone sour to rogue agents within the security apparatus trying to undermine Kirchner herself.
Public outcry about the draft warrant was swift. After all, these recent revelations were published by the South American country’s largest media conglomerate, Grupo Clarin, not by the attorney general’s office.
Many questioned why the courts had failed to release this evidence in conjunction with the 289-page criminal complaint drafted by Nisman that was made public last month. In the complaint, he detailed the supposed Kirchner-Iran deal whereby Argentina planned to pressure Interpol to lift existing arrest warrants against Iranian officials in return for extensive business perks, putting an end to the investigation that had spanned two decades and three continents.
Prosecutor Viviana Fein called it a simple oversight, saying she was “not succumbing to any outside pressures.”
Some political analysts say that Nisman’s intent to have a sitting president arrested would have put Kirchner in the hot seat. But even if she had been charged at the Nisman hearing that never took place, Congress would have to remove Kirchner’s constitutional immunity before she be arrested at the order of a judge (PDF).