Protests erupt after Argentine prosecutor’s death declared suicide

World Today

A demonstrator holds a sign that reads in Spanish “I am Nisman” during a protest sparked by the death of special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, outside the government house in Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Jan. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Argentines gathered late Monday in the iconic Plaza de Mayo, in front of the presidential residence, and in other cities to demand clarification of special prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s apparent suicide.

The prosecutor was found with a bullet wound on the right side of his head, a .22 caliber handgun and a casing next to his lifeless body, according to a preliminary autopsy that found no evidence of anyone else’s involvement in his death.

But what seemed like a clear-cut suicide is clouded by the stunning timing of the prosecutor’s death, just hours before he was to give potentially incendiary testimony to Argentina’s congress about his accusation that President Cristina Fernandez and other top officials protected Iranian suspects in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center, that killed 85 people and is considered Argentina’s worst terrorist attack.

“I’m deeply moved by this. I hope the justice system investigates what happened and if the government is responsible that officials are sent to prison,” said Fernando Lucero, a 42-year-old lawyer at a demonstration.

Investigating prosecutor Viviana Fein said Monday that the preliminary autopsy found “no intervention” of others in Nisman’s death. “According to the autopsy, he fired the .22 caliber” handgun, she said.

However, Fein said she would not rule out the possibility that Nisman was “induced” to suicide, adding that the gun was not his and he left no suicide note.

Report complied with information from The Associated Press