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Lawyer's death 'not suicide', says president

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Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

Reuters

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

Cristina Kirchner, the president of Argentina, has said that she does not believe that crusading prosecutor Alberto Nisman committed suicide.

Mr Nisman (51) had denounced Ms Kirchner (pictured) for covering up the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires - accusing her and members of her government of colluding with prime suspect Iran to whitewash the investigation.

The attack, which killed 85 and injured 300, was the worst terrorist atrocity ever committed in the country. On Sunday, the day before Mr Nisman was due to present his 300-page report in Congress, he was found dead in what appeared to be suicide - lying inside his locked apartment, with a .22 calibre handgun by his side.

But yesterday Ms Kirchner said that, despite a swiftly-issued police declaration that his death was from suicide, she did not believe he killed himself.

"Today, I do not have proof, but I do not have any doubt," said Ms Kirchner, in a lengthy post on her official website.

She does not speculate on who would have wanted him dead, or why.

Iran has long been accused of being behind the bombing, allegedly orchestrated to punish Argentina for pulling out of nuclear deals. Tehran has always denied the accusations. Mr Nisman's friends and family, including his ex-wife, have also stated that the do not believe he committed suicide.

Ms Kirchner published a series of WhatsApp messages on her website, which were screenshots of Mr Nisman's messages to his friends telling them he had cut short his family holiday in Europe - where his ex wife and two daughters live - to return to Argentina and work on the case.

In the messages Mr Nisman says that he has had to bring forward his work, but he is confident in his case.

Mr Nisman last week accused Ms Kirchner of covering up Iranian involvement, in return for favourable oil deals. She strongly denied the accusations, describing Mr Nisman's report as an attempt to "sidetrack, lie and confuse" the 21-year investigation.

"It's not going to be easy. On the contrary," he said.

"But sooner or later, the truth will come out - and I am very confident." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent