Ex-Argentina president Menem to be tried

March 31, 2012 at 4:57 PM
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BUENOS AIRES, March 31 (UPI) -- An ex-president of Argentina will be tried for allegedly obstructing an investigation into the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center that killed 85 people.

Judge Ariel Lijo ruled Friday Carlos Menem, who was president of the South American country from 1989-1999, and several other former officials will be tried for allegedly protecting accomplices of the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah and its backer Iran, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Hezbollah and Iran are believed to have been behind the attack on the Buenos Aires Jewish community center, which also wounded hundreds of people, the Post said.

No one has been convicted in the bombing but Argentina has issued arrest warrants for several Iranians, including Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi and former Prime Minister Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

The prosecution said Menem conspired with Hugo Anzorreguy, former Argentina state intelligence head, ex-police chief Jorge Palacios and others to conceal the involvement of Syrian-Argentine businessman Alberto Kanoore Edul in the attack.

The 1994 bombing came two years after an attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires killed 29 people and wounded 242, the Post said.

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