Judge orders treason arrest of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

NATION-NOW     Ex-president of Argentina faces arrest over alleged bombing coverup     
       Ex-president of Argentina faces arrest over alleged bombing coverup

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. Former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman was being held under house arrest because of failing health, authorities said.

Iran's government has repeatedly denied any role in the attack and refused to hand over suspects in the case.

Fernandez was Argentina's president from 2007 to 2015.

A former aide to Kirchner and a pro-Kirchner activist have warrants for their arrest as well for the same crime.

An Argentine appeals court a year ago ordered the re-opening of the investigation.

In January 2015, prosecutor Alberto Nisman filed charges against Kirchner, while she was still president. Nisman's body was discovered hours before he was scheduled to brief Congress on the community center bombing.

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.

Kirchner told the press conference that the signing of the memorandum in 2012 "was an act of foreign policy that can not be prosecuted".

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"This is an invented case about acts that don't exist", Fernandez, recently elected a senator, told reporters at the national Congress as allied lawmakers surrounded her.

"The case was absolutely paralysed because Iran does not extradite its compatriots". Fernandez says her government had no role in the death.

Bonadio asserts that this was part of "an orchestrated criminal plan" to cover up the alleged involvement of Iranian officials in return for lucrative trade deals with the Islamic republic.

Moreover, he said, Iran through the agreement appeared to achieve its goal of avoiding being declared a "terrorist" state by Argentina.

Fernandez has called her mounting legal woes a political vendetta and denied all wrongdoing. She was sworn in as a member of the Senate last week.

Argentine newspaper Clarin reported, however, that Congress was unlikely to secure the two-thirds majority vote to do so - meaning her detention was not expected.

The treason allegation unveiled Thursday represented the first time that a judge had requested Fernandez's arrest. She is also facing trial in several other cases involving corruption and money laundering stemming from her years as president.