Judge with Jewish ties heads Nisman probe

A federal judge in Argentina who has authored a book about the Holocaust was tapped to pick up the late AMIA prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s case against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Daniel Rafecas, who has a relationship with the Jewish community, was chosen by lottery on Feb. 4 to investigate allegations that Kirchner covered up Iran’s involvement in the 1994 attack against the Jewish center that left 85 dead and hundreds injured. Nisman had also accused Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, who is Jewish, of participating in the cover-up.

Federal Judge Ariel Lijo declined to take up the case. Lijo is investigating another aspect of the AMIA case — a lawsuit accusing former President Carlos Menem of covering up Syrian involvement.

Rafecas, who is invited often to speak about the Holocaust, is well known in Argentina for applying the country’s anti-discrimination law in a case centering on skinheads, ordering them to visit the Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires as part of their probation. — jta