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After 21 years, AMIA cover-up trial begins

Former president Carlos Menem and his then Intelligence Chief Hugo Anzorreguy did not show up in court today to attend the beginning of the trial investigating the cover-up of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center that killed 85 people and left more than 300 injured.

Anzorreguy is in hospital as a result of an infection he allegedly got after undergoing surgery. A teleconference had been scheduled but when authorities tried to reach him in the Otamendi private clinic the connection failed.

Meanwhile, the lawyer of Carlos Menem presented a medical report saying the former head of state was suffering from high blood pressure, depression, osteoarthritis and diabetes.

However, members of the Federal Oral Court No.2 (TOF 2) -- in charge of judging the cover-up -, said the report was "illegible," with judges ordering a follow up on Menem's health condition. They later ordered to resume the trial.

Twenty-one years after the worst-ever terrorist attack suffered by the country, the trial into the attempted cover-up of the AMIA attack began this morning.

Former judge Juan José Galeano along with former prosecutors Eamon Mullen and José Barbaccia -- in charge of probing the attack -- will also be defendants in the case as will former Federal Police (PFA) inspector Jorge "Fino" Palacios.

Carlos Telleldín -- who was acquitted in the 2001-2004 trial -- will also have to explain his role in the attack this time.

Former DAIA head Rubén Beraja will face accusations of being involved in a manoeuvre that sought to blame a group of Buenos Aires provincial police officers for the deadliest attack suffered in Argentina.

The Executive will act as a plaintiff in the trial, represented by lawyer Luciano Hazan.

Following a request from Memoria Activa, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will be sending commissioner Paulo Vannuchi as an observer for today's hearing.

Activists were in negotiations to extend the time Vannuchi -- who served as Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva's Human Rights minister -- will be staying in the country to oversee the trial.

[Source: The Buenos Aires Herald, Bs As, 06Aug15]

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