Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said a prosecutor investigating the bombing of a Jewish community center did not commit suicide as first reported.
Alberto Nisman, lead investigator into the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish center that killed 85 people, was found dead in his apartment on Sunday with a 22 caliber pistol by his side.
He had accused Fernandez of trying to derail his investigation into the bombing and was due to present his case to Congress hours later on Monday, according to Reuters.
The government said two men who Nisman believed were deeply involved in the alleged cover-up of the 1994 attack had been falsely presented to him as state intelligence agents.
Fernandez said the deception discredited Nisman’s charges against her and points to a conspiracy to smear her name.
“They used him while he was alive and then they needed him dead,” she said in a post on Facebook, adding that his death was “sad and terrible”.
She did not say who killed him and no one has been arrested in the case. Social media networks are seething with conspiracy theories, some pointing at Fernandez and her government.
Thousands took to the streets this week to protest the slow pace of justice for the victims of the bombing and demanding answers to the questions around Nisman’s death.
With the economy shrinking and inflation in the double digits, the case has further weakened Fernandez’s popularity and is expected to help pro-market opposition candidates like Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri and congressman Sergio Massa in the presidential election in October.
Fernandez has been in office for seven years but is barred from running for a third consecutive term.
“The spies who were not spies. The questions that turned into certainties. The suicide that I am now convinced was not a suicide.”
Argentine courts have accused a group of Iranians of planting the AMIA bomb. Nisman charged last week that Fernandez opened a secret back channel to Tehran as part of a plot to clear the suspects and whitewash the attack.
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