Argentine prosecutor rejects case against president

AP News
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Posted: Apr 20, 2015 8:02 PM
Argentine prosecutor rejects case against president

BUENOS AIRES (AP) — An Argentine prosecutor on Monday dismissed accusations against President Cristina Fernandez that she helped shield Iranian officials allegedly behind the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center, effectively putting an end to a case that had exposed deep divisions in the South American nation.

Javier De Luca, prosecutor before the Court of Appeals, said there wasn't enough evidence in late prosecutor Alberto Nisman's investigation to warrant a probe.

"There has been no crime," De Luca wrote in his decision, echoing two previous court decisions.

The case was rejected by a federal judge in February and then thrown out on appeal by the Federal Appeals court. De Luca's decision not to present the case to the next level of appeals court means it has effectively reached the end of the line.

As the drama played out over the last three months, each court decision has been greeted by supporters and detractors of Fernandez's administration accusing the other side of using Nisman's death for political reasons.

"The case underscored the idea that there is no rule of law," said Martin Bohmer, a law professor at the University of Buenos Aires. "The display of divisions and fear sent all the wrong messages."

Days before he was found dead Jan. 18, Nisman accused Fernandez and other top administration officials of helping cover up the alleged role of Iranian officials wanted in the bombing of the Jewish community center.

The president has strongly denied the allegations and Iran has long denied the involvement in the bombing, which killed 85 people and stands as the country's worst terrorist attack.

Nisman's death has not been solved. Investigators say they are looking at the possibility of homicide or suicide. Friends and family of Nisman reject the idea that he took his own life.

While Fernandez has been vindicated in court, her administration has struggled to confront fallout from Nisman's death and the president's popularity has eroded, according to several polls. Fernandez is constitutionally barred from running for a third term in October's election.