Reuters reports: Alberto Nisman was working hard preparing for a congressional hearing on his claim that Argentina’s president tried to whitewash Iran’s involvement in a bombing attack that killed 85 people, a make-or-break day in his career as prosecutor.
In the spotlight since leveling his hefty accusations last week, Nisman needed to make a convincing case, based on a decade of work with spy agencies around the world.
So he put in the extra hours at his Buenos Aires apartment on Saturday. Friends described him as upbeat and determined ahead of his appearance and he was scheduling interviews with journalists for the coming days. He also reportedly wrote up a list of groceries he would ask his maid to buy on Monday.
But Nisman, 51, never made it to Monday. He was killed by a bullet to the head and his body found on the floor of his bathroom on Sunday night.
Officials initially said he apparently committed suicide with a 22 caliber gun borrowed from a distant colleague, and a source close to the judicial investigation who visited the scene told Reuters there was so much blood that no one could have left it without leaving a trace.
But from day one, most Argentines, including his family and friends, refused to believe Nisman committed suicide. The timing was too suspicious, the circumstances of his death too mysterious, and they say he was simply not that kind of man.
“No one believes the suicide hypothesis,” said one person on Nisman’s investigative team, who declined to be named for fear of repercussions and preferred not to use his cellphone, believing it was tapped.
“He was very convinced of his ideas and prepared to see them through. He had received threats all his life and it never intimidated him,” he told Reuters.
Even President Cristina Fernandez [de Kirchner] has come around to that view, saying on Thursday that she was “convinced” it was not a suicide. People had led him astray in his investigation in order to smear her name and then “needed him dead”, she said.
She did not, however, say who ordered his death and no arrests have been made. [Continue reading…]