January 29, 2015 / 7:43 PM / 3 years ago

Argentine investigator into Jewish center bombing buried

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The Argentine prosecutor who died under mysterious circumstances the day before he was to testify in Congress about allegations against the president regarding an investigation into a 1994 bombing was buried on Thursday amid calls for justice.

A policeman (C, bottom) salutes as the hearse with the remains of late Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman arrives at the cemetery in La Tablada, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires January 29, 2015. REUTERS/Martin Acosta

Well-wishers threw red roses onto the hearse carrying the body of the prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, as a long motorcade led by police outriders wound its way through Buenos Aires to a Jewish cemetery on the outskirts of the city.

Nisman, who earlier this month accused President Cristina Fernandez of trying to derail his investigation into the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center, was found dead in his apartment on Jan. 18 with a gunshot wound to the head.

“We are many Argentines who will remember Alberto for his virtues, his courage, his passion, his boldness and his bravery,” Waldo Wolff, vice president of the Delegation of Argentine Jewish Associations, said at the funeral.

The death of the 51-year-old prosecutor shocked Argentina. While autopsy results suggested he killed himself, many Argentines remain skeptical, and social media has been seething with conspiracy theories about who murdered Nisman.

In a case that takes new twist and turns every day, the government has blamed rogue agents from the intelligence service for Nisman’s death. The lead investigator in the case has said that patience is needed and that she is not ruling anything out.

Argentines have hailed Nisman, a Jewish father of two, as a hero for digging tirelessly over the past decade into the 1994 bombing that killed 85 people, despite receiving threats that led to him needing bodyguards.

Many have also criticized Argentinian institutions for what they perceived as a failure to protect him and to help him solve the case. One group of demonstrators carrying a cross emblazoned with the words “We are all victims.”

Wolff said the Jewish community was now as far, if not further, from learning the truth about the bombing, adding that Nisman’s death had highlighted the “dark labyrinths of power.”

“Nisman’s death is a breakdown, a turning point, where the Argentine democracy was wounded,” said protestor Anibal Gomez.

Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Richard Lough and Jeffrey Benkoe

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