BUENOS AIRES — 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.
Judge Claudio Bonadio asked lawmakers to remove Kirchner’s immunity from arrest, which she gained when she was sworn in as a senator last week.
Bonadio also ordered the arrest of several aides and allies of Kirchner, including former presidency secretary Carlos Zannini and activist Luis D’Elia on the same charges. Former foreign minister Hector Timerman was ordered held under house arrest due to health issues. Bonadio re-opened the case against Kirchner after it had been dismissed by another federal judge in February 2015.
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.
Kirchner, who was president from 2007 to 2015, has faced accusations of financial misdeeds and abuse of power since leaving office, “but this is a crime of an entirely different nature,” said Ricardo Saénz, an Argentine federal prosecutor. “You just can’t compare it. I’ve said this all along: The president betrayed her own citizens by agreeing to block justice for the murders of her own citizens. Everything else is insignificant.”
The quest for justice was hampered by years of corruption in the investigation of the bombing, which Israel and the U.S. have attributed to Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terrorist group.
In an attempt to…