Argentina's president Cristina Kirchner formally accused of bombing cover-up

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner (above) was formally accused on Friday of shielding Iranian officials from prosecution over a 1994 bombing at a Buenos Aires Jewish centre, prosecutors said. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Argentine President Cristina Kirchner (above) was formally accused on Friday of shielding Iranian officials from prosecution over a 1994 bombing at a Buenos Aires Jewish centre, prosecutors said. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - Argentine President Cristina Kirchner was formally accused on Friday of shielding Iranian officials from prosecution over a 1994 bombing at a Buenos Aires Jewish centre, prosecutors said.

The prosecution move advances the case against Kirchner that was being pursued by late prosecutor Alberto Nisman before he died mysteriously on the eve of congressional hearings on his accusations.

The accusation now goes to the judge in the case, Daniel Rafecas, to decide whether to call Kirchner to make a statement.

Kirchner has been under fire since Nisman turned up dead after accusing her of covering up the involvement of high-ranking Iranian officials in the deadly bombing in exchange for oil.

The new prosecutor in the case, Gerardo Pollicita, accepted Nisman's conclusions and accused Kirchner, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and other government officials of mounting a cover-up and violating their duties, according to a prosecution statement.

Nisman, 51, was found in his Buenos Aires apartment with a gunshot wound to the head on Jan 18.

His death was initially labelled a suicide, but suspicion has fallen on Kirchner's government.

The President has suggested Nisman was manipulated by disgruntled former intelligence agents who then killed him to smear her.