miramar argentina 58.
(photo credit: JTA)
Jewish organizations in Argentina on Friday welcomed a court decision to extend
the remand of a leftist leader charged with threatening Jews in 2006, pending
the outcome of his trial.
The DAIA and AMIA Jewish groups welcomed the
judge’s decision to keep Quebracho head Fernando Esteche in jail until he
decides whether the suspect used the threat of force to disperse a Jewish
protest outside an Iranian embassy.
“We believe it is a case with much
supporting evidence, footage and witnesses,” Debora Kott, the director of the
DAIA legal department, was quoted as saying by a local Jewish
“We believe Jewish protesters were prevented by force to
express their opinion in a peaceful demonstration.”
Fernando Esteche, who
is the leader of Quebracho, a staunchly anti-US and anti- Israeli political
group, was charged on Wednesday with intent to coerce, through insults and
violence, a group of young Jewish protesters to disperse from a rally in front
of the Iranian embassy.
Esteche said he was being persecuted because of
“Zionist pressure that operates in Argentina.”
During the court
proceedings, the leftist politician, who has spent time in prison for “political
violence,” said his party’s members carried clubs at the rally in question in self-defense.
Meanwhile, dozens of hooded leftist protesters attempted to
tear down the railing surrounding the courthouse until they were dispersed by
Quebracho aligns itself with Latin America’s far left and
supports Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Iran and Hezbollah are
believed to have been behind two deadly bombings in Buenos Aires of a Jewish
center and the Israeli embassy in 1992 and 1994 which killed scores of people.