The Associated Press reports: On the home page of Argentina’s largest Jewish community center is a counter that keeps track of the “days of impunity” since a bomb ripped through the organization’s central building, causing it to collapse and leaving 85 dead amid the rubble.
On Thursday, 7,689 days since the 1994 attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, former President Carlos Menem, a former top judge and several others will go on trial for allegedly derailing the investigation.
Prosecutors have accused Iranian officials of being behind the bombing. But no one has been convicted in this South American country’s worst terrorist attack, which many Argentines believe has come to symbolize an inept and corrupt justice system that operates at the whims of politicians and can be bought off.
“After 21 years of no justice, deception and defrauding the families (of victims), we hope that the truth will emerge about everyone who plotted to cover up and derail the investigation,” said Olga Degtiar, whose son was killed in the blast.
The 13 facing charges include two former prosecutors, a former top intelligence official, former police officers, a Jewish community leader and a mechanic who owned the truck carrying the explosives. The charges carry between three and 15 years.
The trial, expected to go on for months, will focus on how and why Menem and the others might have wanted to bury the initial investigation. Testimony will likely delve into geopolitics of the 1990s, and even into Menem’s Syrian ancestry and how that might have influenced him. [Continue reading…]