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Family claims independent forensic evidence shows Argentine prosecutor was murdered

The family of Argentine state prosecutor Alberto Nisman have obtained an independent forensic report they say indicates he was murdered. Nisman was found dead days after he accused President Fernandez of a cover-up plot.

Speaking at a news conference in Buenos Aires, Nisman's former wife Sandra Arroyo Salgado, who is a judge, said "Nisman didn't have an accident. He didn't commit suicide. They murdered him."

State prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead in the bathroom of his apartment on January 18. He was due to address lawmakers the following day on his accusations that President Cristina Fernandez had arranged a deal with Iran to hide the role of their officials in a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires. The case has caused a political storm.

Under Argentine law, the families of victims have access to the crime scene and can to do their own forensic tests.

Arroyo Salgado had earlier deposited the forensic evidence behind her allegations at the state prosecutors' office in Buenos Aires on Thursday.

An independent team of forensic experts had been asked by Arroyo Salgado to review the results of the court autopsy, as well as the photos and videos taken at Nisman's apartment.

She did not give details of the findings at the news conference but did say that the findings in the independent report contradict the few details which have been released from the judicial investigation into Nisman's death.

A number of irregularities at the alleged crime scene and the official investigation that followed "have contributed to, or at least extended the duration of, impunity in this case," Arroyo Salgado said.

Arroyo Salgado was divorced from Nisman at the time of his death. She is representing the couple's two daughters, Nisman's mother and his sister in the investigation.

Fernandez claims

Authorities have said they are investigating the possibility of suicide or homicide. They have not released full results of their autopsy and the only information released so far by the prosecutor's office has suggested Nisman committed suicide. No official ruling has yet been made.

Nisman's death came just days after he had accused Fernandez of involvement in the alleged cover up for the bombing which had left 85 people dead and 300 injured in a Jewish community center 21 years before.

Fernandez is now in the last year of her presidency. The case has caused a media and political storm with polls showing more than 60 percent of Argentines saying they will never know the truth behind Nisman's last moments.

Fernandez and her allies have suggested it could have been suicide or a political murder by rogue intelligence agents out to discredit the president.

jm/gsw (AFP, EFE, AP)

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