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Argentine judge orders arrest of ex-president Cristina Kirchner for treason

08 December 2017

It was one of the continent's deadliest terror attacks.

The former president is accused of signing a deal with Tehran to allow Iranian officials suspected of ordering the attack on the Jewish centre to be interviewed by Argentine magistrates in Tehran rather than in Buenos Aires.

The Senate will now have to vote on lifting Kirchner's immunity, however, this is not likely to happen before the end of 2017, according to Bo, because of the holiday recess and divisions over the validity of the judge's decision.

Ms. Fernandez and her late husband, Nestor Kirchner, dominated Argentinian politics for more than a decade starting 2003, with Mr. Kirchner serving as president from 2003 to 2007, and Ms. Fernandez succeeding him for the next eight years.

Kirchner's leftist alliance in the Senate has a total of 32 seats in the 72-seat Senate, but only around a dozen senators are in the Kirchner camp.

But Kirchner, now a senator, has parliamentary immunity.

Macri's center-right Cambiemos alliance has 25 seats in the upper house.

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The ex-head of the Federal Intelligence Agency, Oscar Parrilli, was ordered not to leave the country.

She has previously called the case an "absurdity" and part of a campaign to undermine her presidency.

An Argentine appeals court a year ago ordered the re-opening of the investigation into Kirchner's involvement after it was cut short when the original prosecutor on the case, Alberto Nisman, was found shot dead in the bathroom of his Buenos Aires apartment in January 2015.

Nisman alleged that a 2013 agreement between Argentina and Iran to jointly investigate the bombing was meant to cover up the suspects of the attack, including former Iranian President Ali Akbar Rafsanjani and former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayatí, in order to promote bilateral trade.

Using "unofficial channels of communication and negotiation" with Tehran, Ms. Fernandez concocted an "orchestrated criminal plan" to shield the Iranian citizens behind the attack on a Jewish community center, which killed 85, Judge Claudio Bonadio wrote.

Several prominent members of her former government have been detained on corruption charges in recent weeks, including ex-public works minister Julio De Vido and Amado Boudou, her vice president from 2011-2015.

Argentine judge orders arrest of ex-president Cristina Kirchner for treason