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Former Argentine President Kirchner has been charged with treason

08 December 2017

A federal judge Thursday asked Argentina's Senate to allow the arrest of former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on a charge of treason for allegedly covering up the role of Iranians in a 1994 bomb attack on a Jewish center.

Years after the attack on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA), Kirchner was accused of having struck a deal with Iranian officials to grant those responsible for the bombing immunity in exchange for oil, the Telegraph reports.

The Senate will now have to vote on lifting her immunity at the judge's request, for which a two-thirds majority is needed.

Kirchner has previously called the case an "absurdity" and denied wrongdoing over Argentina's worst terror attack - the July 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center, which left 85 dead and hundreds injured.

The judge considered "necessary" to arrest the former President claiming that "her contacts could hinder the case", and because she is a defendant in another case.

Kirchner's former legal secretary Carlos Zannini, Muslim community leader Jorge Alejandro Khalil, and pro-Iranian activists Luis D'Elía and Fernando Esteche were all arrested in raids on Thursday morning.

The investigation comprises several parallel cases that have dragged on for years and involve two former presidents.

An Argentine appeals court ordered the re-opening of the investigation into the potential bombing cover up a year ago.

In a press conference Thursday at the parliament in Buenos Aires, Kirchner was indignant.

The investigation reopened after the 2015 assassination of prosecutor Alberto Nisman who conducted the original investigation.

Bonadio wrote in his ruling that evidence in the case showed Iran, with the help of Argentine citizens, had appeared to achieve its goal of avoiding being declared a "terrorist" state by Argentina.

Several prominent members of her former government have been detained on corruption charges in recent weeks, including ex-public works minister Julio De Vido and Amado Boudou, Kirchner's vice-president from 2011-2015.

The question now becomes whether the Congress will revoke her parliamentary immunity.

Argentine investigators accuse five former Iranian officials - including former president Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati and ex-Republican Guard head Mohsen Rezai - of ordering Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah to carry out that bombing.

Former Argentine President Kirchner has been charged with treason