Argentina’s former socialist President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has claimed she is the victim of “political persecution” over allegations that she covered up that she aided Iranian terrorists.
Kirchner, who left office in 2015, had her arrest ordered by Judge Claudio Bonadio on Wednesday on charges of treason because of allegations that she covered up the involvement of the Iranian government in the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) – an attack which killed 85 people and injured hundreds more – in exchange for favorable trade deals.
In a press conference on Wednesday surrounded by her political allies, Kirchner blamed both current President Mauricio Macri and Bonadio for leading a case of “unprecedented political persecution” against her.
“There are instruments of an unprecedented political persecution in democracy and Mauricio Macri is the conductor of the orchestra and Judge Bonadio executes the score,” Kirchner said.
“They want me quiet, but they will not scare me,” she stated, continuing:
It is a fabricated case about events that did not happen, there are no facts, there is no crime, this is nonsense that violates the rule of law and seeks to cause personal and political harm to their opponents. It has nothing to do with justice or democracy. Both Bonadio and Macri know this.
The case against Kirchner is based on evidence from 2015, when prosecutor Alberto Nisman prepared an indictment and warrant for Kirchner’s arrest. Nisman was found dead of an apparent suicide just a day before he was scheduled to present his findings to the country’s Congress.
Some of the charges include “treason against the nation” and “aggravated concealment” regarding the anti-semitic attack. Kirchner stands accused of having “betrayed traditional and historical national interests and those of the people affected by the attacks” by involving herself in a plan to “gain impunity for Iranian citizens accused in the attack on the AMIA headquarters and to normalize relations between both states.”
However, as a sitting senator, the former president retains legislative immunity, meaning the Senate would have to strip her of that by a majority vote within the next 180 days, which analysts still believe is unlikely. Any conviction for treason would incur a minimum ten-year prison sentence.
Kirchner, 64, who served as president of Argentina from 2007-2015, led a far-left government that allied itself with other rogue socialist states, including Venezuela, Bolivia, and Cuba, and was an integral member of Latin America’s “pink tide,” with the rise of numerous socialist, anti-American governments that wreaked havoc on the region’s economy.