Alberto Nisman was one of Argentina's most famous federal prosecutors. For more than ten years, he was the chief investigator of the 1994 car bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people and injured another 300—the worst terrorist attack in Argentina's history. As with his investigation of the 1994 bombing, Nisman's death on January 18, 2015, left the country with more questions than answers.
Me acaban de informar sobre un incidente en la casa del Fiscal Alberto Nisman.
— Damian Pachter (@damianpachter) January 19, 2015
I have just been informed about an incident at Attorney Alberto Nisman’s home.
Encontraron al fiscal Alberto Nisman en el baño de su casa de Puerto Madero sobre un charco de sangre. No respiraba. Los médicos están allí. — Damian Pachter (@damianpachter) January 19, 2015
They found Prosecutor Alberto Nisman in the bathroom of his home in Puerto Madero in a pool of blood. He was not breathing. Doctors are there.
Nisman was found dead at his home in Buenos Aires beside a handgun, just hours before he was due to appear before Congress. Internet users have speculated rampantly about whether it was suicide or homicide. The incident has unsurprisingly become politicized:
— teleSUR TV (@teleSURtv) January 22, 2015
Sí, al gobierno lo perjudicaron. Pero ojo que al matarlo en cierto modo también perjudicaron a Nisman. — Malcom Gomez (@malcomgomez) January 26, 2015
Oh sure, it's against the government alright. And killing Nisman didn't harm him at all.
According to Argentinian police, Nisman, age 51, committed suicide just a few hours before he was supposed to speak to Congress and present his case against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, whom Nisman accused of having reached a secret agreement with Iran to protect the alleged perpetrators of the 1994 attack.
On the morning of July 18, 1994, about 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of explosives were detonated in front of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association building. Local and international investigators later determined that Iranian officials with ties to the Lebanese group Hezbollah most likely masterminded of the attack.
The Iranian government rejects the accusations, however, and has refused repeatedly to cooperate with investigators, despite a denunciation from the United Nations.
In 2013, Argentina and Iran signed an agreement called the “Memorandum of Understanding,” which created a “Truth Commission” to clarify the events of 1994. Argentina's Jewish community, the largest in Latin America, did not welcome the agreement, which it said would fail due to Tehran's lack of interest. Indeed, the Iranian parliament would not approve the memorandum, as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never submitted it for review.
Nisman argued that the agreement was signed to “fabricate the Iran's innocence” and facilitate the commercial trade of grains and meat in exchange for energy between the two countries.
The only person ever prosecuted for the bombing was Carlos Telleldín, who sold the truck that carried the suicide bomber to the target. Those behind the attack remain at large.
More more information and details about the case, click here.