Argentina's Kirchner says arrest order violates law

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

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

A federal judge on Thursday ordered the arrest of former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez on charges of treason and covering up for alleged Iranian terrorists involved in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center here.

Bonadio's order also targeted other Argentinean officials in the effort to cover up Iran's involvement in the attack, including former Foreign Minister Hector Timmerman, who is Jewish and is now under house arrest due to illness, and former head of the Federal Intelligence Agency Oscar Parrilli, who was charged but not arrested.

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.

She has argued in the past that since Iran and Argentina have no extradition agreement, and Argentina does not carry out trials in absentia, there was no other way to proceed with the investigation.

In a press conference Thursday at the parliament in Buenos Aires, Kirchner was indignant.

"We have been here for 23 years and no one has been put behind bars for this", she lamented. "What we did was to act within the framework of worldwide law".

Meanwhile, the judge issued arrest warrants for the ex-president's Foreign Affairs Minister Hector Timerman and legal and technical secretary Carlos Zannini.

The charges largely stem from a case filed by special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, whose mysterious death from a gunshot wound - hours before he was set to testify before Congress in January 2015 - had rocked Argentina at the height of Ms. Fernandez's power. She won a Senate seat last month.

Each year thousands of persons remember the bombing. In October, congress voted to lift protection from her former planning minister, Julio De Vido, who was facing charges of fraud and corruption.

Fernandez was Argentina's president from 2007 to 2015. Iran denies any involvement.

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