Argentine ex-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner charged with treason
BUENOS AIRES — A federal judge on Thursday indicted former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on treason charges, asking for her arrest on charges that she covered up Iran’s possible involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.
In court documents, Judge Claudio Bonadio accused Fernández of obfuscating the Iranian role in the attack, which killed 85 people, in exchange for a potentially lucrative trade deal. The court requested the lifting of her immunity from prosecution, a protection she enjoys as a sitting senator.
Underscoring the seriousness of the charges, authorities conducted raids linked to the case on Thursday, arresting three of her former aides and associates. Héctor Timerman, her former foreign minister, was placed under house arrest.
The charges stem from an investigation initially conducted by Alberto Nisman, a crusading prosecutor who accused Fernandez of a coverup in 2015 and was later found dead in the bathroom of his apartment. Whether his death was a suicide or a homicide remains in dispute.
Though rare, the lifting of parliamentary protection is not unprecedented. In October, congress voted to lift protection from her former planning minister, Julio De Vido, who was facing charges of fraud and corruption.
Faiola reported from Miami.