Argentina’s Nisman case exposes holes in president’s defense

BUENOS AIRES – New information revealed Wednesday in the death of a prosecutor shows apparent holes in the Argentine president’s defense against claims she orchestrated a criminal cover-up.

Viviana Fein, the prosecutor probing the death of Alberto Nisman, said his ticket with Iberia airlines shows he returned as planned Jan. 12 from vacationing with his two daughters in Europe.

That was two days before he accused President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and others of trying to hide Iran’s alleged involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people, in an apparent plan to exchange grains for oil with the Republic.

In her first comments after Nisman’s death, Fernandez de Kirchner asked why the prosecutor decided to return home early instead of “sometime after Jan. 20” as she said was planned.

She called it “an unexpected return” in a second written comment days later and subsequently in a televised speech Monday.

Her administration slammed Nisman’s accusation, saying it is “absurd” and so poorly written that rouge spies and even the opposition media conglomerate Grupo Clarin could be behind it and Nisman’s death.

“They used him while he was alive, then they needed him dead,” Fernandez de Kirchner wrote Jan. 22.

Fein said she is reviewing security camera footage at Nisman’s apartment building, where he was found dead Jan. 18, to find out who entered and lef. She has said the front-desk log contains errors.

Separately, Diego Lagomarsino, the first and only person to be charged in the investigation into Nisman’s death, gave a press conference to explain what happened.

The information technology expert who worked for Nisman has been attacked by the government, with Fernandez de Kirchner suggesting he was part of a plot to mar her government and that he had plans to flee the country after Nisman made his Jan. 14 accusation.

Lagomarsino, who was charged Monday for lending Nisman a pistol that was found near his body, had a date to renew his passport Jan. 14 for a trip to the U.S. with his family.

Lagomarsino’s lawyer, Maximiliano Rusconi, said the claims are “false” because his client requested the renewal through a computer system a month earlier that gave him the appointment. “You can’t choose just any date,” he said.

Lagomarsino said Nisman called him to come to his apartment Jan. 17, where he asked him if he had a gun and if he could borrow it.

“I couldn’t believe what he was asking me,” Lagomarsino said. “Unfortunately, I said yes.”

He said Nisman told him he wanted the gun to protect himself if “some crazy guy with a stick comes and says, ‘You’re a traitor, bastard,’” in reference to betraying the president.

Lagomarsino said Nisman didn’t trust the 10 police officers assigned as his security guards, and assured him that the gun would be returned in a few weeks.

Rusconi said Lagomarsino has not committed a crime because gun owners can loan their weapons to others if there is a risk against their lives.

Copyright © 2015 Anadolu Agency