Argentine president seeks overhaul of intelligence services
Updated: 2015-01-27 14:43
BUENOS AIRES - Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez called on Congress to dissolve Argentina's intelligence services in the wake of the mysterious death of a prosecutor, strongly denying his accusation that she had sought to shield former Iranian officials suspected in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center.
In a nationally televised address late Monday, her first since the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman hours before he was to give potentially explosive testimony on the alleged cover up, Fernandez said her proposal to create a new spy agency would be presented to lawmakers by the end of the week.
She did not say who might have killed Nisman, but in recent letters posted on social media she had suggested that rogue intelligence agents may have orchestrated the death in a plot against her government. In the speech, she provided no new details of the alleged plot and Fernandez herself oversees the intelligence agencies in question.
She said reforming the clandestine services was a "national debt" the country has had since the return of democracy in 1983. Argentina had several years of a brutal dictatorship, and Fernandez suggested that the problems of today had their roots in the years of that military government.
While government officials had previously labeled Nisman's allegations as absurd, Monday's speech was the first time Fernandez had taken them on directly.
"It's unreasonable to think our government could even be suspected of such a maneuver," said Fernandez, who spoke while sitting in a wheelchair because of a fractured ankle.