The circumstances surrounding the death of an Argentine prosecutor investigating a 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center are growing murkier after a string of bizarre new twists that have confused an already perplexing crime and cast doubt on authorities' handling of the case.
President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner initially described the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman as a suicide. But on Thursday she flip-flopped her position and said she now thinks he was murdered.
Nisman was found dead with a gunshot to the head in his luxury Buenos Aires apartment on Sunday night. His body was discovered one day before he was scheduled to present evidence in Congress claiming Fernandez sought to undermine his investigation into the 1994 bombing as part of a shady deal with Iran, which has been implicated in the attack. The government denies the accusations.
Argentines have taken to social media (and to the streets) with a barrage of conspiracy theories, fanned by a lack of concrete details surrounding Nisman's death.
Here are four bizarre developments in the case that have raised more questions than answers:
1.) Argentine president’s suddenly changes her opinion on the cause of death. On Sunday, Fernandez posted a statement on her website claiming Nisman's death was an apparent suicide. Several other government officials echoed her conclusion. But now Fernandez says she believes Nisman was killed in connection with a larger conspiracy to undermine her government. She said people posing as Argentine intelligence agents intentionally misled Nisman in his investigation. Fernandez, a lawyer by training, did not offer any further explanation or clues as to who she now thinks might be responsible for his death.
2.) A locksmith’s testimony. Initial reports after authorities arrived at Nisman’s apartment show his place was securely locked from the inside — a detail that seemed to rule out the idea that someone broke into his home to kill him. But a locksmith who was later called to the scene that same night told investigators a service door to his apartment was barely closed.
3.) Basic details still missing. Four days after Nisman’s death, authorities have yet to release some basic information about the case. There are no publicly released details about the time of his death and no explanations about how he might have shot himself.
4.) Was Nisman really suicidal? An official with a prominent Jewish organization in Argentina released a picture that he says was sent to him by Nisman on Saturday evening—hours before his death. The photo showed Nisman’s desk covered with scattered piles of legal documents and yellow highlighters. Nisman said in a message that he was working hard to prepare for his congressional testimony on Monday. Several Argentine and foreign reporters have publicly said they exchanged emails with Nisman late last week to discuss the case, and in some instances arrange interviews with him after his scheduled appearance in Congress.