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News > Latin America

Argentina’s Court Dismisses Case Against Cristina Fernandez

  • Cristina Fernandez-Kirchner at a hearing, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Cristina Fernandez-Kirchner at a hearing, Buenos Aires, Argentina. | Photo: Twitter/@CrisAlvarezRod

Published 8 October 2021
Opinion

Her opponents accused her of having signed a document to obstruct the investigation of the terrorist attack on a Jewish organization in Buenos Aires.

On Thursday, the 8th Federal Court dropped the case against Vice-President Cristina Fernandez, who was accused of covering Iran's participation in the car bombing against the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) that took place in Buenos Aires in July 1994. 

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In 2013, the then President Fernandez signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) directed towards Iran. This document's intention was to agree on cooperation mechanisms to restart the investigation of the attack, which remained stagnant for years.

"Argentine and Iranian judicial authorities will meet in Tehran to proceed to questioning... of whom Interpol has issued a red notice. The Commission will have authority to pose questions to the representatives of either side. Each side has the right to give explanations or submit new documents during the meetings," the MoU reads.

Although the Memorandum was never enforced, her critics argued that it was a tool aimed at interfering with the judiciary system and granting immunity to Interpol fugitives. Prosecutor Alberto Nisman iniciated a legal process in 2017, during the administration of President Mauricio Macri, a right-wing politician who is a staunch political adversary of Fernandez. 

Prosecuted on grounds of treason and cover-up, Fernandez entered preventive detention. She had always maintained, however, the MoU was only meant to reignite the investigation.

This week, after years of litigation, the Buenos Aires 8th Federal Court decided that Cristina Fernandez had not incurred a crime by signing the 2013 MoU.

"Since the Memorandum between Argentina and Iran was never enforced, there was never a legal act, as seen from the international law point of view," the Judges said, adding that "there is no evidence of behavior with legal-criminal relevance."

Previously, the Fernandez defense argued that the case was biased from the beggining and cited several encounters between judges and Macri to "discuss the proceedings". The 8th Federal Court agreed on this point as well and decided that further inquiry would only harm the defendants in the public eye. Its ruling, however, could still be overturned on a higher court. 

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