Latin America & Caribbean

Alberto Nisman: Funeral held for prosecutor in Buenos Aires

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Media captionThere were chaotic scenes as police tried to keep protesters away from the cortege, as Wyre Davies reports

The funeral has been held in Buenos Aires for Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found shot dead in his flat earlier this month.

Investigators have yet to establish if it was suicide or if he was killed.

Mr Nisman had been investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires which killed 85 people.

He died hours before he was to appear before Congress to accuse President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of a whitewash related to the bombing.

In a 300-page report published days before his death on 18 January, Mr Nisman said the president and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman had conspired to protect Iranian suspects in the bombing case.

President Fernandez has strenuously denied the allegations.


At the scene: Wyre Davies, BBC News, Buenos Aires

There was a massive police presence outside the Tablada Jewish cemetery on the outskirts of the Argentine capital as the hearse carrying Alberto Nisman's body finally arrived.

Following were family members in dark-coloured cars with blacked out windows.

This was, at the family's request, a completely private funeral. Nobody, apart from the occasional invited politician, stopped to talk to the hundreds of journalists outside.

It is thought that Mr Nisman was buried in a part of the cemetery reserved for victims of Israel's wars.

A few dozen noisy protestors also shouted "Justice for Nisman" as the motorcade drove past.

These people believe that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is ultimately responsible for the death of the prosecutor because he had accused members of her government of trying to cover up the alleged role of Iran in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural centre.

The government has denied those allegations and suggested that Mr Nisman's death was part of a wider conspiracy to discredit it.


'Dark forces'

In a televised speech on Monday, President Fernandez suggested that rogue elements in Argentina's intelligence service had fed Mr Nisman false information and manipulated him.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Argentines gathered along the route of the funeral cortege holding up signs reading "Justice"
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Others had crosses saying "We're all victims" and placards calling on people to "take to the streets"
Image caption Many just help up signs saying "We're all Nisman"

She announced plans to dismantle the Intelligence Secretariat (SI) and called for a special session of Congress on Sunday to discuss a draft bill to that effect.

She also accused Diego Lagomarsino, the man who lent Mr Nisman the gun which was later found next to his dead body, of being a fierce opponent of her presidency.

Mr Lagomarsino, a computer specialist and long-time acquaintance of Mr Nisman, told reporters on Wednesday that Mr Nisman had asked him for the gun because he "feared for the safety of his daughters".

He said that Mr Nisman had also told him: "I don't even trust my security detail."

Mr Nisman's security chief has been suspended and is under investigation along with two other members of his guard.

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