In Argentina, death of federal judge Claudio Bonadio, sworn enemy of Kirchnerism

Judge Claudio Bonadio, in Buenos Aires, in May 2016.
Judge Claudio Bonadio, in Buenos Aires, in May 2016. ALFREDO LUNA / AFP

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner regularly accused him of"Fiercely" and of "Political persecution". Judge Claudio Bonadio, who died on Tuesday February 4 following a brain tumor operation in 2019, has in fact shown a certain persistence in suing the former Argentine president (2007-2015), now vice President of Peronist Alberto Fernandez (in power since December 10, 2019).

The magistrate's very media career has been marked by many controversies: appointed federal judge by ex-president Carlos Menem (1989-1999) on the recommendation of his secretary to the presidency Carlos Corach – this one would have registered the name of Bonadio among a list of magistrates "Loyal to the government" on a napkin -, Claudio Bonadio notably investigated for several years the attack against the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA), which killed 85 people in 1994, before being dismissed from the case in 2005, because judged too biased.

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But the magistrate was mainly seen as a figurehead of anti-Kirchnerism (named after Nestor Kirchner, president from 2003 to 2007, died in 2010, who was succeeded by his wife Cristina Fernandez). It was he who investigated most of the judicial inquiries targeting the ex-president and her relatives.

In 2014, Bonadio was the head of the investigation into possible financial embezzlement and carried out a series of searches within Hotesur, a hotel complex owned by the Kirchner family in Patagonia. The case, which will then be taken up by another magistrate, resulted in 2019 in the indictment of Mme Fernandez for money laundering and a criminal association.

At the start of 2016, when Cristina Fernandez ceded the presidency to the liberal Mauricio Macri (2015-2019) a few months earlier, Claudio Bonadio pronounced his indictment in the case of the "Dolar futuro", in which he accuses the Argentine Central Bank of having carried out a financial speculation operation through the sale of dollars on the futures markets just before the coming to power of Mr. Macri.

Accumulation of cases

It is still Claudio Bonadio who is suing Cristina Fernandez for obstructing justice and betraying the fatherland – a charge subsequently dropped by the Federal Chamber – in the context of the investigation into the attack on AMIA . He thus takes up the accusations of Alberto Nisman, prosecutor who died in January 2015 – whose circumstances of death have still not been clarified – who, three days before his death, accused Cristina Fernandez of having sought to minimize the implication of Iran in the attack through the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Tehran, with the aim of obtaining commercial contracts with this country.


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