Argentina prosecutor sees homicide in Nisman killing

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Buenos Aires (AFP)

An Argentine prosecutor investigating last year's mysterious killing of the head of a probe into a 1994 bombing of a Jewish center believes it was a homicide, court papers showed Thursday.

Alberto Nisman, a state prosecutor investigating the attack, was found dead in his bathroom on January 18, 2015, with a bullet wound to the head and a revolver at his side.

He had been due to appear before a congressional hearing to deliver a report alleging a government cover-up to shield Iranian officials from prosecution over the bombing, which killed 85 people.

Ricardo Saenz, the prosecutor investigating Nisman's death, said based on the evidence he was working on "the hypothesis that Nisman was the victim of a crime of homicide," in a written summary released by judicial officials.

Four days before his death, Nisman had accused then-president Cristina Kirchner of shielding high-ranking Iranian officials from prosecution over the bombing, the deadliest terror strike in Argentina's history.

He had earlier accused Iran of ordering the attack via Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

But his efforts to prosecute five Iranian officials, including former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, were cut short when Kirchner's administration signed a deal with Iran to set up a Tehran-based joint commission to investigate the attacks.

Nisman accused Kirchner of sealing the deal in exchange for oil and trade benefits, basing his accusations on hundreds of hours of wiretaps.