New trial on 94 Buenos Aires Jewish center bombing

Argentina’s former president is among 13 defendants on trial for bribery and hindering the investigation into the deadly 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

Because of health problems, ex-President Carlos Menem did not appear in person on Aug. 6, the opening day of the trial in a Buenos Aires federal court.

The original investigation failed to convict anyone after a three-year trial that ended in 2004. But the court ordered an extension of the investigation, based on a bribery accusation against the presiding judge, Juan Jose Galeano, who is among the defendants now.

“Our expectation for this trial is that the process can shed some light on the attack, in order to know more about it and to be closer to bringing out truth and justice,” said Julio Schlosser, president of the DAIA Jewish political umbrella.

DAIA leader Ruben Beraja also is a defendant because of his involvement in the alleged bribery.

The trial will continue each Thursday. With more than 140 witnesses set to testify, it is expected to last more than a year.

The July 18, 1994, attack on the AMIA center, which took place during Menem’s first term as president, left 85 dead and 300 injured. — jta