Damian Pachter, the journalist who first reported the death of Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman, has fled Argentina due to concerns that his life may have been in jeopardy, and has successfully made his way to safety in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Nisman, who was found dead in his apartment, was to provide testimony against the country’s President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the next day. Nisman was reportedly going to accuse Kirchner of covering up Iranian involvement in the 1994 bombing of the Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association (AMIA), which resulted in the deaths of eighty-five and hundreds injured. Nisman, who had gathered evidence regarding the bombing for years, was reportedly going to allege that Kirchner covered up the Iranian attack in exchange for Tehran selling her country oil at discounted prices.
Pachter wrote a column for Israeli paper Haaretz explaining why he fled to Israel.
He writes that, after breaking the story of Nisman’s death, an Argentinian state news agency wrote a report explaining that it was likely a suicide by referring to a tweet from Pachter’s account. The problem was that “the agency quoted a supposed tweet of mine that I never wrote,” Pachter said.
Pachter said that he relayed the ordeal to a trusted friend, and they both came to the conclusion that the tweet may have been a “coded message.”
Pachter then left his location and remained on the road for several hours until he met up with a friend at a gas station. It was there that his friend alerted him to a nearby Argentinian intelligence officer who had been tasked with providing surveillance on Pachter. “You’re under surveillance; haven’t you noticed the intelligence guy behind you,” Pachter’s friend reportedly said.
“When an Argentine intelligence agent is on your tail, it’s never good news,” he explained. It was then that Pachter decided to buy a plane ticket from “Buenos Aires, to Montevideo, Uruguay, to Madrid [Spain] to Tel Aviv.”
“After I left Argentina I found out that the government was still publishing wrong information about me on social media,” Pachter explained. The journalist then revealed that Argentina’s presidential palace posted on Twitter that he was going to return back home on February 2nd, but “my return date is in December,” he said.