Argentine investigators probing unknown DNA in Nisman’s death

BUENOS AIRES – Argentine investigators on Tuesday were studying unknown DNA found at the apartment of Alberto Nisman, a prosecutor found dead last month only days after exposing an alleged criminal cover-up involving the president.

The DNA was discovered on a coffee cup in the kitchen sink at Nisman’s apartment in Buenos Aires, where his body was found Jan. 18 on the eve of briefing lawmakers about his accusation against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Nisman accused the president of trying to hide Iran’s alleged involvement in the deadly bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 people.

While prosecutor Viviana Fein has declared Nisman’s death suspicious, speculation of an assassination has swirled in the case that has come to dominate conversations and headlines in Argentina.

The judge overseeing the death probe, Fabiana Palmaghini, ordered the examination of the DNA and its comparison with that of Diego Lagomarsino, an information technology expert who worked for Nisman.

Nisman asked Lagomarsino to his apartment in Puerto Madero, a posh district in the city’s old docks, the day before his death to lend him a gun.

Lagomarsino, who was questioned by Fein, said he loaned his Bersa .22-caliber pistol to Nisman, who told him that he wanted it to defend himself against any pro-government supporters who could threaten him or his two teenage daughters for his accusation against Fernandez de Kirchner.

During his visit, Lagomarsino said he was asked if he wanted coffee, and then Nisman told him to prepare it himself.

It was uncertain when the results of the examination would be made public, and if others could be called in to provide DNA for comparisons.

The government has suggested that rouge spies be behind Nisman’s death, with fingers pointing to Antonio “Jaime” Stiusso, a veteran spy who worked on the bombing case with Nisman but was fired in December in a president-ordered shakeup of the Intelligence Secretariat.

Stiusso has been called in for questioning about three phone calls that the investigation shows he made to Nisman on his cell phone the day before he was found dead.

Stiusso, whose identity is not known publicly except for a grainy black-and-white photo, is thought to have made the calls from a phone number belonging to the Intelligence Secretariat.

In another development, a second test found that Nisman didn’t have gunpowder and other related residue on his hands, raising doubts about a suicide. However, some experts have said the small caliber gun may not leave such traces.

Fernandez de Kirchner and her officials have not responded to the latest twists in the case.

Copyright © 2015 Anadolu Agency