BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — An Argentine prosecutor is formally declaring for the first time that the man probing the country’s biggest terror attack was murdered rather than possibly committing suicide, a member of his team said Wednesday.
The opinion presented by a judge by Eduardo Taiano reignites a case that shook Argentine politics with suspicions of high-level homicide in the 2015 death of crusading prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
Judge Julian Ercolini will now decide whether to accept Taiano’s decision and formally declare the case a murder investigation, rather than one of “suspicious death.”
The prosecution staffer, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the agency’s rules, said Taiano also asked the judge to order testimony by computer specialist Diego Lagomarsino, a computer specialist who owned the gun used to kill Nisman. The aide has said he’d loaned the gun to Nisman for protection because the prosecutor feared for his life.
Nisman’s death came four days after he formally accused then-President Cristina Fernandez of covering up Iranian officials’ role in a 1994 bombing that killed 85 people at a Jewish community center.
Fernandez has always insisted she had nothing to with a cover-up or with Nisman’s death.
Details of Taiano’s report were not immediately publicly available.
The initial police reports and autopsies concluded there was no sign anyone else had been present when Nisman died. The national forensics team said there was no concrete evidence it was a homicide and federal police said the prosecutor shot himself.
Nisman was found dead of a gunshot in the bathroom of apartment on Jan. 18, 2015. It was four days after he had given a judge his report accusing Fernandez of cover-up in the Jewish center bombing and a day before he was scheduled to describe his conclusions to Congress.
Taiano’s opinion said he suspects that Lagomarsino left the gun in Nisman’s apartment so that the actual killer or killers could use it and make the murder appear to be a suicide.
Lagomarsino’s attorney did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the prosecutor’s statement.
Initial police investigations found no evidence that anyone other than Nisman had been involved in the death, though they left open the possibility of suicide, induced suicide or murder.
But those reports were widely questioned and police were criticized for allowing numerous people into the apartment, possibly contaminating the scene for investigators.
A new report commissioned by Taiano, headed by the country’s Border Police, said Nisman apparently had killed by two people who drugged him and shot him after posing him against a bathtub.