Ex-Argentina leader to face terror cover-up trial

Carlos Menem to be tried for allegedly protecting Hezbollah, Iran accomplices thought to be behind 1994 Jewish center bombing.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
March 31, 2012 12:33
1 minute read.
Ex-Argentine president Carlos Menem

Carlos Menem 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The former president of Argentina will stand trial for obstruction of justice in the investigation of the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center that killed 85 people and left hundreds wounded.

Judge Ariel Lijo on Friday ruled that Carlos Menem, who was president of the South American country between 1989 and 1999, along with several other former officials, will be tried for allegedly protecting accomplices of Hezbollah and its backer Iran, who are believed to have been behind the attack.

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According to state prosecution, the former president conspired with former state intelligence head Hugo Anzorreguy, former police chief Jorge Palacios, and others, to hide the involvement Syrian-Argentine businessman Alberto Kanoore Edul in the attack.

To date nobody has been convicted of the 1994 bombing, although Argentina has issued arrest warrants for several Iranians including Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi and former prime minister Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

The 1994 bombing of the AMIA building came two years after a similar attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people and wounded 242.

The Israeli embassy marked the 20th anniversary of the event earlier this month in several ceremonies. “Perhaps the failure to find those who planned the attack on the embassy is what led to the second attack on the AMIA building,” Lea Kovensky, who was wounded at the embassy, told The Jerusalem Post earlier this month.

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