BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — A former Jewish leader was among those indicted in Argentina for bribery during the original investigation of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.
Ruben Ezra Beraja, who once headed the DAIA Jewish umbrella organization, was among those charged May 12 by Federal Judge Ariel Lijo as he closed the first part of his investigation into reported irregularities that took place during the probe.
The attack killed 85 people and wounded hundreds.
Others indicted included the judge who presided over the investigation, Juan Jose Galeano; ex-prosecutors Eamon Mullen and Jose Carlos Barbaccia; Argentina’s former secretary of intelligence, Hugo Anzorregui; intelligence agency officer Patrick Finn; attorney Victor Stinfale; and a defendant in the case, Carlos Alberto Telleldin, along with his wife, Ana Maria Boragni.
The indictment stems from an illegal payment of $400,000 to Telleldin, an auto mechanic who was among those charged in the attack, for his false testimony about to whom he gave the car bomb. Beraja knew about the payment, Lijo said.
This irregularity, among others, led the court in 2004 to annul the investigation and free all the accused. In 2005 a jury dismissed Galeano and the case was transferred to federal judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral and prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
As a result of the second investigation, Argentina is seeking the extradition of seven Iranians, including the current defense minister, for their alleged roles in the attack.
In May 2009, the Argentina Supreme Court ruled that not all of the first investigation made by Galeano is illegal but only the information collected after the illegal payment, and ordered the reopening of the investigation of Telleldin.