Infobae anticipated it last week, but now it’s official. 28 analysts in the Border Patrol (gendarmerie) have concluded recently that late prosecutor Alberto Nisman was murdered “in cold blood,” and that the crime scene had been tampered with in order to make it look like he had committed suicide. Experts provided by Nisman’s mother and his daughters through their lawyers — both are also litigating parties in the case, although separate from each other — also supported this conclusion.
Federal Prosecutor Eduardo Taiano is expected to receive the report on Friday and, according to press reports, he has already made the decision to request additional probes to Federal Judge Julián Ercolini such as the reenactment of the events that led to Nisman’s death. He will also once again summon Nisman’s aid Diego Lagomarsino to testify regarding his involvement in the case. Lagomarsino is the only person who has been formally charged in the investigation for providing Nisman with his personal gun (which Nisman had allegedly asked for protecting himself) and which fired the shot that ended his life.
“[Taiano] is set to ask Lagomarsino about some ‘contradictions’ in his statement regarding the moment when he gave Nisman the gun on Saturday, January 17 2015,” Clarín reported. However, Lagomarsino’s lawyers rejected the report and continued assuring that the prosecutor committed suicide.
Some memory-aid before moving on to the specifics of the report: let’s recall that in January of 2015, the prosecutor leading the investigation of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center, stunned the world by saying that the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Argentina and Iran in 2013 (which among other things, sought to establish an Iranian committee to investigate the terrorist attack alongside Argentina) really intended to cover up the responsibility of Iranian officials involved in the bombing in exchange for trade agreements.
The MOU, however, never saw the light of day. An Argentine appeals court declared it to be unconstitutional and once the Macri administration — which was always against it — took office, decided not to appeal the decision, putting an end to it.
The Border Patrol’s report is over 200 pages long and provides a detailed explanation of what the analysts have concluded took place on that fateful weekend, according to the evidence they worked with. These are the most relevant points:
Analysis on the gun that fired the gunshot that ended his life came back with evidence of gunpowder trace, yet they couldn’t find any on his hand.
The gun was found next to the bathroom door, close to the body, proving that after it was fired, the gun was dropped next to the body.
That the shot was fired behind his ear, in a perpendicular way, and the barrel wasn’t placed on his skin, something highly unusual in suicides.
The body was moved once Nisman had died. The experts concluded that by analyzing the blood stains in the bathroom. The assassins tried to simulate a spasm, usual in suicides. But that didn’t happen. Nisman died in agony.
Nisman had a bruises on his left ankle, kidney, head and nose, which was broken. “They are professional hits to neutralize a victim,” the report says.
The ketamine traces found in the late prosecutor’s body were used as a sedative, as investigators didn’t find more of the substance in his apartment.
The people who killed Nisman used his computer and cellphone, and then deleted everything in a way so it couldn’t be recovered .
Regarding the time of his death, analysts said that it was at least 29 hours before the body was found: 2 AM of January 18, 2015. The plaintiffs, however, concluded that he died 36 hours before, at 8 PM on Saturday, January 17.
The investigators found very few DNA traces in his apartment. One belonging to his mother, Sara Garfunkel, and two belonging to Nisman. “It makes it clear that the crime scene was cleaned up,” it adds.
The report directly contradicts a previous report from 2016, when ten forensic experts, plus two provided by federal police and one by Lagomarsino’s defense team assured that there was no evidence pointing at Nisman’s death being a murder.
It’s important to clarify that this case is different to the one investigating the late prosecutor’s accusation, although they are strictly related: the Supreme Court determined last year that Nisman died — regardless of the way — as a result of his job as a public official. If the judge ends up concluding that he was indeed assassinated, he will also be practically certain that whoever was behind it decided to do so because of his accusation.
The news caused numerous reactions across the political spectrum. One of the most relevant came from National Deputy and co-founder of the Cambiemos coalition Elisa “Lilita” Carrió, who assured yesterday night that the report shows that “it was [former President] Cristina Kirchner’s government who killed him.”
Moreover, she drew a link between the Santiago Maldonado case and Nisman’s death: she argued that the criticism that the Kirchnerite sectors have had for the actions taken by border patrol – which forcefully cleared the roadblock where the 28-year-old tattoo artist was last allegedly seen – seek to discredit the force and this report with it.
“Kirchnerism and human rights organizations linked to Kirchnerism have planted false evidence and false witnesses to discredit border patrol. This has to do with the Nisman case,” she began.
“This has to do with the Nisman case, because it’s the case that has Cristina Kirchner obsessed, because it’s a government-sponsored crime with international repercussions. Her government had Nisman killed. This doesn’t mean that his disappearance has been made up, but they are using one thing to cover up another,” she argued.
Along the same lines, PRO party deputy Waldo Wolff – a leader within the Jewish Community who was close to Nisman – assured in a radio interview that the prosecutor was assassinated by an “intelligence service.”
“Regarding the material aspect, Nisman was assassinated by an intelligent service. Someone who had the knowledge to set up this kind of thing,” said Wolff. And he continued: “regarding the mastermind of the murder, I can’t say. That night there were a lot of people who were interested in the prosecutor not having the possibility to conduct raids, questionings and other [legal] procedures,” he added.
La Nación also reported today that on the morning of Sunday, January 18 2015, when the news of Nisman’s death hadn’t been broken, there was an “explosion” of phone calls between people linked to intelligence services.
The investigators in the case ordered phone calls from intelligence agents be cross-referenced, and their results is set to be revealed by the end of the year. The phones of former Intelligence Agency head Antonio “Jaime” Stiuso and former Army Chief during the second Cristina Kirchner administration, César Milani, are among the ones being analyzed.