Arrest request draft for Argentine President found at Nisman’s home

Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman drafted an arrest warrant for President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner before his death, according to the lead investigator into his death. The 26-page…

People rallied outside the wake for Alberto Nisman in Buenos Aires on Thursday. Mr. Nisman, a prosecutor, was found dead in mysterious circumstances last month. (AP)

Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman drafted an arrest warrant for President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner before his death, according to the lead investigator into his death.

The 26-page document was found in the garbage at Mr. Nisman’s apartment and it also called for the arrest of Héctor Timerman, Argentina’s foreign minister.

SEE ALSO: Latinos and Jews: Common Histories, Shared Agendas

Nisman was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment last month, with a single bullet wound to the head. Investigators have yet to establish if he killed himself, or was murdered.

He died hours before he was due to testify in Congress against Kirchner, whom he had accused of covering up alleged Iranian involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires which killed 85 people.

Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman drafted an arrest warrant for President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner before his death, according to the lead investigator into his death.

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, seen on television at a ceremony on Friday. A draft of a request to arrest her was found in the trash at the home of a dead prosecutor, Mr. Nisman. (AP)

Both Kirchner and Timerman have repeatedly denied Nisman’s accusation that they tried to reach a secret deal with Iran to lift international arrest warrants for Iranian officials wanted in connection with the bombing. Iran has also denied involvement in the attack.

Legal experts emphasized that the draft found in Mr. Nisman’s apartment was not valid in an Argentine court of law, and needed more than just the prosecutor’s wishes to move forward in the legal system.

“It is not signed; it is a draft,” said María del Carmen Besteiro, head of the Buenos Aires Association of Lawyers. “Nisman was a prosecutor. The one who has to make the accusation and who has to decide it is a judge.”

However, the mere presence of the documents shows the heightened tensions between the prosecutor and the government.

SEE ALSO: Argentine Jews seeking justice from Iran over 1994 bombing

Sergio Berensztein, a political analyst, believes if the arrest requests had been issued, “it would have provoked a crisis without precedents in Argentina.”

He noted that previous legal cases had shaken Argentina’s political establishment, but he emphasized that this case involved a request to arrest a sitting president. “It would have been a scandal on a level previously unseen,” Mr. Berensztein said.