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Arrest request draft for Argentine president, foreign minister was in dead prosecutor’s trash

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    We turn now to Argentina, where a decades-old unsolved terrorist attack, a prosecutor's mysterious death, and allegations of a cover-up at the highest levels have gripped the nation.

    Here's Jeffrey Brown.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    It's a mystery that goes back to 1994, when a bomb ripped through a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires and killed 85 people.

    For the last decade, prosecutor Alberto Nisman tried to prove Iran was behind the bombing, a charge the Tehran government repeatedly denied.

    Then, last month, the case took a dramatic new turn. Nisman accused Argentina's president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, of covering up Iran's involvement.

  • ALBERTO NISMAN, Prosecutor (through interpreter):

    The objectives of the Argentine government were, on the one hand, to strengthen geopolitical relations with Iran and, on the other hand, to reestablishment diplomatic relations, and, in the face of a severe energy crisis faced by Argentina, to by oil from Iran.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    President Kirchner dismissed the allegations, which Nisman was set to detail in front of congress days later. But on the eve of his testimony, Nisman was found dead of a gunshot wound in his apartment.

    Police first ruled that he killed himself. Nisman's supporters demanded answers. It has since been ruled a — quote — "suspicious death," and President Kirchner herself has voiced doubts that it was a suicide.

    This week, the drama continued to unfold. On Sunday, an Argentinean newspaper reported that a draft document requesting the arrest of Kirchner and her foreign minister was found in a trash bin at Nisman's apartment. The lead prosecutor in the case, Viviana Fein, at first denied it. And a cabinet minister dramatically ripped up the article.

  • JORGE CAPITANICH, Cabinet Chief, Argentina (through interpreter):

    The truth is that they have been trying to establish a scenario with false information ever since the charge was first made. We categorically repeat, we have revealed the lies and will continue to do so, because the truth always triumphs.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    But the newspaper published a copy of the arrest document, and Fein backtracked. She now acknowledges it does exist, but says it's not important enough to change the investigation.

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