Argentina judge issues arrest warrant for former President Kirchner

By Daniel Uria  |  Dec. 7, 2017 at 5:34 PM
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Dec. 7 (UPI) -- A judge in Argentina issued a warrant for the arrest of former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on Thursday on charges of treason.

Judge Claudio Bonadio accused Kirchner, 64, of seeking to negotiate a deal with Iran to obtain trade concessions in exchange for covering up Tehran's role in a 1994 terror attack on the AMIA Jewish center that killed 85 people.

"There's no crime, there's no case. Bonadio knows it. The government knows it. President [Mauricio] Macri also knows it," Kirchner said.

Her arrest warrant stems from a 2015 investigation by federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found dead at his home less than a week after accusing Kirchner of the coverup.

Kirchner previously called the accusations "absurdity" and claimed they were part of a conspiracy to undermine her presidency.

Kirchner was granted legal immunity after being sworn in as a senator in October. Bonadio has also asked lawmakers to remove her immunity, which would require a two-thirds majority vote by Congress.

The judge also called for the arrest of Kirchner's former aide, Carlos Zanni, social activist Luis D'Elia and Muslim cleric Jorge Alejandro Khalil, all of whom were arrested in raids Thursday morning.

Hector Timerman, the former foreign minister, was held on house arrest due to health issues.

Kirchner faces trial in several other cases of corruption and money laundering during her time as president.

The treason charge is the most serious and carries a potential prison sentence of up to 15 years.

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