President Cristina Fernandez has called on congress to dissolve Argentina’s intelligence services in the wake of the mysterious death of a prosecutor, strongly denying his accusation that she had sought to shield former Iranian officials suspected in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre.
She did not say who might have killed Alberto Nisman, but in recent letters posted on social media she suggested that rogue intelligence agents may have orchestrated the death in a plot against her government.
Her nationally televised address was the first since Mr Nisman was found dead hours before he was to give potentially explosive testimony on the alleged cover-up.
She provided no new details of the alleged plot within the intelligence agencies she oversees, and the speech was immediately criticised by opposition parties and Jewish community leaders.
Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri, a leading possible presidential contender for October elections, said: “The Intelligence Department is not going to change with a modification of its name.”
He added that Ms Fernandez’s speech did nothing to clear up what happened to Mr Nisman.
Ms Fernandez said she would give lawmakers her proposal for a new spy agency by the end of the week.
She added that reforming the clandestine services was a “national debt” the country has had since the return of democracy in 1983.
Argentina had several years of a brutal dictatorship, and Ms Fernandez suggested that the problems of today had their roots in the years of that military government.