Latin America

No gunpowder found on Nisman’s hands

The Buenos Aires Herald reports:

The forensic analysis on AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s body confirmed that there were no traces of gunpowder on his hands. However, experts explained that it does not contradict suicide hypothesis.

Prosecutor Viviana Fein, who leads the investigation of Nisman’s death, said this was not an “unexpected result” and that it “does not rule out the possibility that Nisman had fired the gun himself.”

Fein had already confirmed yesterday that there was no sign of a third-party being involved in the death, but she had refused to rule out the possibility that the deceased was forced to take his own life by some as yet unknown factor.

She explained that the with .22 caliber fire arms, as the one used in Nisman’s death, “usually do not deliver positive results” for gunpowder traces in forensic analysis.

Can anyone confirm or refute this?

And as inevitable as the setting of the sun:

Iran’s state-controlled Press TV, of course, is perfectly satisfied with the “suicide” explanation.

Under pressure from the US and Israel, Argentina formerly accused Iran of being behind the attack…

The coroner’s office confirmed that no one was involved in the death of Prosecutor Nisman. Security sources say all signs show he committed suicide.

Update: And credit to Uki Goñi of The Guardian for reporting this:

In 2007, on the basis of Nisman’s investigation as the case prosecutor, Interpol issued an international arrest warrant for Iranian officials who are suspected of having masterminded the blast. Chief among them was Mohsen Rabbani, the former Iranian cultural attache in Argentina at the time of the blast.
Although Argentina’s government makes no secret of its ideological preferences, it still came as a devastating shock last Wednesday when Nisman presented a 300-page complaint before federal judge Ariel Lijo against the president. Nisman accused her of conspiring with her foreign minister, Héctor Timerman, through secret negotiators to clear Iran of charges in return for Iranian oil to make up for the debilitating energy deficit that had resulted from years of government mismanagement.

Nisman’s wiretaps allegedly show that the “impunity for oil” negotiations were being conducted by phone through a middleman in Buenos Aires with the main suspect in Iran, Rabbani himself.

“There’s been an alliance with the terrorists,” said Nisman in a 37-minute television interview last Wednesday in which he described how negotiators – whom he said were chosen and directed personally by Fernández – called Rabbani’s go-between in Buenos Aires saying they were coming out of the president’s office with precise instructions regarding the negotiations.

Nisman said he was so shocked when he first heard the wiretaps that he refused to believe his own evidence. He became convinced, he explained, when he heard the conspirators talking about details of the president’s health that only became public a few days after the conversations were recorded.

To his anger at seeing the case he had built up against the Iranians allegedly being negotiated away in exchange for oil, was added the insult of hearing himself referred to as a “dirty Jew” on the intercepted calls, as the Argentinian negotiators provided the Iranians with secret details of his investigation.

“Iran admits and even boasts that it carried out the attack,” the prosecutor said of the intercepted calls. “It’s astounding how the attack is admitted.”

Second update: Noga Tarnopolsky has a fascinating series of tweets, beginning here: