Statement On Hector Timerman

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy
Hector Timerman

January 12, 2018

On December 6, 2017, former Argentine Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, along with former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and others, was indicted for “concealment.” The judge responsible for the indictments accused the defendants of conspiring with Iran to undermine the criminal investigation of the 1994 attack on the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people and injured 300 others.

That was a heinous act of terrorism, for which whoever was responsible should be brought to justice. However, according to Human Rights Watch, the indictment “refers to a 2013 ‘memorandum of understanding’ signed by the Kirchner administration and the government of Iran to create an international commission of jurists with powers to review evidence against Iranians accused by the Argentine judiciary of responsibility for the bombing, and to interrogate some suspects.” Whether or not negotiating such an international agreement constitutes a crime is a question that can only be answered by a court, based on the facts and the law. In the meantime, it is my understanding that Mr. Timerman suffers from a serious health problem that requires treatment in the United States. I urge the State Department to act expeditiously and grant him a visa for that purpose.

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