Judge orders arrest of former Argentine president

Judge orders arrest of former Argentine president

Cristina Kirchner was the Argentinian president from 2007 to 2015.

The judge also called for the arrest of Kirchner's former aide, Carlos Zanni, social activist Luis D'Elia and Muslim cleric Jorge Alejandro Khalil, all of whom were arrested in raids Thursday morning.

Fernandez is accused of trying to cover up Iranian officials' involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center, known as AMIA, in Buenos Aires in exchange for favorable trade deals.

But Kirchner, now a senator, has parliamentary immunity.

"This accusation is based on an agreement ... that would allegedly allow Argentine judges to interrogate Iranian officials that Argentina claims were involved in that investigation", she said. Argentine prosecutors have alleged the attack was ordered by the government of Iran.

The order is the latest move to resolve a case that's gripped Argentina for years.

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The Senate will now have to vote on lifting her immunity at the judge's request, for which a two-thirds majority is needed. In response, she shut down the Secretariat of Intelligence, replacing it with the Federal Intelligence Agency in March 2015.

Kirchner was granted legal immunity after being sworn in as a senator in October.

Macri's center-right Cambiemos alliance has 25 seats in the upper house.

Argentine investigators accuse five former Iranian officials - including former president Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati and ex-Republican Guard head Mohsen Rezai - of ordering Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah to carry out that bombing.

The attack - which followed a 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people - devastated Argentina's Jewish population, the largest in Latin America at about 300,000 people.

The charges largely stem from a case filed by special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, whose mysterious death from a gunshot wound - hours before he was set to testify before Congress in January 2015 - had rocked Argentina at the height of Ms. Fernandez's power.

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