BUENOS AIRES – The judge handling the case of the 2015 death of Argentine special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, whose body was found just days after he accused the then-president of covering up a deadly 1994 terrorist attack, called on Wednesday to testify the man who lent Nisman the gun that killed him.
Judge Julian Ercolini agreed to that request by lead prosecutor Eduardo Taiano, who also has requested that Nisman’s death be treated as a homicide as opposed to a suspicious death.
Ercolini summoned Diego Lagomarsino, an IT technician, to testify in his Buenos Aires court on Nov. 14.
Lagomarsino, who already has been charged with illegally lending a weapon that led to the death, has told investigators that Nisman had asked him for the weapon to protect his daughters.
Taiano made his requests to Ercolini after a forensic expert committee with the Argentine National Gendarmerie, a border guard force, determined in a September report that two individuals beat Nisman, drugged him with ketamine and killed him at his Buenos Aires apartment.
“In line with the committee’s conclusions, I’ve asked that Lagomarsino be investigated as the primary participant in Nisman’s homicide, because he supplied the weapon,” Taiano told EFE in an interview.
Just days before being found dead on Jan. 18, 2015, of a gunshot wound to the head, Nisman had accused then-head of state Cristina Fernandez (in office between 2007-2015) and members of her government of orchestrating a cover-up of the alleged involvement of Iranian suspects in the 1994 bombing of the Jewish association AMIA that killed 85 people.
At the time of his death, Nisman had been due to brief Congress about his accusations.
Nisman said a 2013 deal between Fernandez’s administration and Iran to jointly investigate the attack was in fact aimed at providing impunity for suspects including Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran’s president at the time of the bombing; and the Persian nation’s then-foreign minister, Ali Akbar Velayati.
Rafsanjani died in January of this year.
The deal involved a quid pro quo whereby the two nations were to boost bilateral trade and Iran was to supply oil to energy-hungry Argentina, Nisman alleged.
Fernandez has steadfastly denied that any such cover-up ever took place.
Nisman had been working for a decade on the AMIA bombing, a case in which prosecutors have yet to secure a single conviction.
Argentina’s Jewish community blames Iran and Lebanese Shiite militia group Hezbollah for planning the bombing, which followed a 1992 terrorist attack on Israel’s embassy in Buenos Aires that left 29 people dead and more than 200 wounded.