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Saturday, 23 December, 2000, 16:04 GMT
Argentina bombing suspect extradited
Amia centre bombing, 1994
No one has been jailed yet for the Amia bombing
Switzerland has extradited a key suspect in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Argentina, in which 86 people died and more than 200 were injured.

Wilson Dos Santos, a Brazilian national, was sent to Argentina after being accused of giving false information about the attack on the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (Amia).

President Fernando de la Rua
President de la Rua: "Justice will be done"
In the weeks before the bombing, Mr Dos Santos is reported to have visited the Argentine consulate in Italy to warn of a planned terrorist action. He later retracted his story.

No-one has yet been jailed for the attack on the Amia centre, but several men, including some former policemen, have been arrested on suspicion of aiding the attackers.

Argentina, Israel and the United States have all said they suspect the bombing was carried out by Middle East guerrillas backed by Iran. Tehran rejects the accusations.

'Chance prediction'

Mr Dos Santos was arrested in Switzerland in March at the request of Interpol.

The Argentine authorities requested his extradition the following month, alleging Mr Dos Santos gave false evidence when he denied any knowledge of the Amia centre bombing.

Before the attack Mr Dos Santos told diplomatic officials that his Iranian girlfriend, Nasrim Mokhtari, had told him of plans to bomb the Jewish centre.

He also accused Ms Mokhtari of taking part in the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, in which 29 people were killed.

Criticised

Mr Dos Santos later said he had made the story up and had predicted the bombing by chance.

He is now being questioned by police in Argentina.

The Jewish community in Argentina - the biggest in Latin America and the seventh largest in the world - has often criticised the authorites for taking too long to investigate the bombing.

President Fernando de la Rua has promised to step up investigations and that "justice will be done".

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See also:

13 Jun 00 | Americas
Argentina 'sorry' over Nazis
27 Apr 99 | Americas
Argentina 'held Nazi gold'
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