Ex-wife of Argentine prosecutor says he was killed

Updated: 2015-03-06 09:30


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Ex-wife of Argentine prosecutor says he was killed

Federal judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado, ex-wife of late Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, speaks during a news conference in Buenos Aires March 5, 2015.[Photo/Agencies]

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - The former wife of a prosecutor whose mysterious death has rocked Argentina said Thursday a team of experts she hired concluded that her former husband was killed and his body moved to the bathroom where he was found dead.

Alberto Nisman "was a victim of homicide, without any doubt," said Sandra Arroyo Salgado, who had two daughters who are still minors with the late prosecutor.

Authorities have said they are investigating the possibility of suicide or homicide.

Nisman was found dead with a bullet in his head in his bathroom Jan. 18. It was a day before he was to elaborate to lawmakers on his accusations that President Cristina Fernandez orchestrated a secret deal with Iran to hide the role of Iranian officials alleged to be responsible for the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center. Fernandez and Iran have denied the allegations.

Under Argentine law, families of victims have access to the official investigation and are allowed to do their own forensic tests at the crime scene.

A majority of Argentines believe Nisman was killed, according to several polls. The day after Nisman was found dead, Fernandez suggested he had killed himself. However, three days later she did an about-face and said she believed he had been slain, and repeatedly has suggested rogue elements in the intelligence services were behind his death.

Arroyo Salgado, a federal judge, has repeatedly cast doubt on the official investigation, and announced soon after Nisman's death that she was hiring her own investigative team.

Arroyo Salgado said the analysis she commissioned, which was based on photos taken of the crime scene and during the autopsy, determined there had not been any spasms in Nisman's right hand. She said that was the opposite of the official autopsy, which has not been released.

Arroyo Salgado said the lack of spasms meant Nisman did not shoot himself.

She also said her team concluded that Nisman's body was moved to the bathroom after he was shot, though she didn't elaborate on where he might have been killed.

After Arroyo Salgado's news conference, Viviana Fein, the lead investigator, pointed out that Arroyo Salgado's analysis was based on photos and not an actual autopsy. Fein told reporters outside her office that Arroyo Salgado could have done her own autopsy when Nisman's body was in the morgue for 48 hours but did not.

With respect to Nisman's body, Fein said that it was never moved while she was at the crime scene, but that she couldn't speculate what happened during the hours before investigators arrived.

"We need to know which of the technical experts arrived at the truth, and right now we don't know," she said.