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Cablegate: Court Releases Documents Supporting September 2

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 003081

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR WHA/BSC, WHA/PPC, EB/IFD/OMA, S/CT
NSC FOR TOM SHANNON AND MIKE DEMPSEY
FBI FOR CTD/IRAN-HIZBOLLAH UNIT FOR SSA,SCOTT SUITTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREF PREL PTER KJUS AR AMIA
SUBJECT: COURT RELEASES DOCUMENTS SUPPORTING SEPTEMBER 2
ACQUITTAL DECISION IN AMIA TERRORIST BOMBING TRIAL

REF: BUENOS AIRES 2540

1. SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

2. On October 29, the Third Federal Oral Court finally
released the documentation supporting the three-judge panel's
September 2 acquittal of all 22 Argentine defendants
(including the 5 principle defendants - 4 Buenos Aires
policemen and the chop-shop owner who implicated them) in the
1994 AMIA Jewish Community Center terrorist bombing (Reftel).
In that September 2 decision, the Court also called for an
investigation into the conduct of the bombing investigation
and trial by the original criminal judge Juan Jose Galeano,
other court officials, former Menem government officials,
assorted individuals, and even members of a bi-cameral
congressional committee formed at the time to investigate the
attack.

3. In the 4,500-page decision released by the Court, the
Panel conceded that the source of the explosion that devasted
the AMIA center, killing 85 people, was a van loaded with 300
to 400 kilograms of explosives. After that point, however,
the Court turns the case on its head, accusing Judge Galeano,
other court and government officials, members of Congress and
others of conspiring to fabricate a case against the police
in order to provide scapegoats in the attack. The Court
found that Galeano's star witness, chop-shop owner Carlos
Telledin, was paid USD 400,000 in monies from the Argentine
intelligence service (SIDE) -- with the knowledge and
complicity of Galeano, former head of SIDE Hugo Anzorreguy,
and former Menem-era Interior Minister Carlos Corach -- to
implicate his police co-defendants.

4. The Court has ordered that a new investigation be opened
against Galeano for "arbitrary consideration of evidence,"
lack of impartiality and bribery; and against former Interior
Minister Corach and SIDE head Anzorreguy for their role in
the illegal payment made to Telleldin and their support for
Galeano's activities. Also to be investigated for their
alleged role in the "conspiracy" to implicate the accused
police officers is former Delegation of Jewish Associations
(DAIA) president Ruben Bereja, and a number of members of a
bi-cameral Congressional Commission formed at the time. In
related news, Judge Galeano is scheduled to appear November 5
before the Council of Magistrates for the beginning of what
is likely to be impeachment proceedings against him.

4. (SBU) COMMENT: Interested parties are just starting to
wade through the 4,500 pages of the court decision and none
of the principle parties have made any substantive public
comment yet. Galeano, Corach, DAIA, AMIA and others have 10
days to appeal the decision. Although the AMIA investigation
now has turned inward (i.e. looking at the actions of
investigators and authorities rather than the perpetrators),
at the end of the day the families of the victims of the 1994
bombing will still be looking to the government to identify
the perpetrators of the attack and try to bring them to
justice. With all of the evidence collected by Galeano now
called into question by this court decision, the danger lies
in the possibility that good leads and evidence will be
tossed out with the possibly-tainted.
GUTIERREZ

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