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Argentine Judge Calls for Arrest of Ex-President Fernandez

Argentine Judge Calls for Arrest of Ex-President Fernandez

The widow of former President Nestor Kirchner, Fernandez has been a polarizing figure in Argentine politics for more than a decade and faces several other criminal charges, including corruption, money laundering and financial mismanagement while in office.

Mrs Kirchner has previously described the accusations as nonsense, and suggested that she is the victim of political persecution masterminded by her successor, President Macri.

Former foreign minister Hector Timerman was ordered to be held under house arrest, due to health issues.

Fernandez and members of her government "betrayed traditional and historical national interests and those of the people affected by the attacks" and looked to "gain impunity for Iranian citizens accused in the attack on the AMIA headquarters and to normalize relations between both states", Bonadio wrote in a 491-page complaint.

The judge, Claudio Bonadio, alleged that a 2013 deal reached while Fernandez was president helped shield Iranians allegedly involved in Argentina's worst terrorist attack: the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association center in Buenos Aires.

The charges have been rejected several times by courts as lacking substance, but the case was reopened in February this year.

Kirchner told the press conference that the signing of the memorandum in 2012 "was an act of foreign policy that can not be prosecuted".

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"The case was absolutely paralyzed because Iran does not extradite its compatriots".

For that to happen, two-thirds of the legislators must decide to remove Kirchner's immunity for an arrest. She won a Senate seat last month.

The news comes after investigators ruled the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman a murder, not a suicide.

The cover-up allegations against Fernandez gained global attention in January 2015, when the prosecutor who initially leveled the charges, Alberto Nisman, was found shot dead in his Buenos Aires home. "What is unfolding is an absurdity", charged Fernandez, who was president from 2007 to 2015. Iran denies any involvement.

She argued that since Iran and Argentina have no extradition agreement, and Argentina does not carry out trials in absentia, there was no other way to proceed with the investigation.

The attack - which followed a 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people - devastated Argentina's Jewish population, the largest in Latin America at about 300,000 people.