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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 September, 2004, 21:49 GMT 22:49 UK
Argentina bomb suspects acquitted
The aftermath of the 1994 bombing of the Jewish centre in Buenos Aires
It was the worst terror attack in Argentina's history
A court in Argentina has cleared five men accused of involvement in the bombing of a Jewish centre in 1994.

They had denied charges that they supplied a van used in the attacks. The reasons for their acquittal will not be made public until next month.

The masterminds behind the blast, which killed 85 people and injured more than 200, have never been identified.

Argentine, US and Israeli officials have all said that Iran is to blame - a charge Tehran denies.

Second blast

The defendants, four former police officers and an alleged car thief, had been dubbed the "local connection" by Argentine journalists.

Prosecutors argued they were part of a car-stealing ring that delivered the vehicle which was then rigged with explosives outside the offices of the Jewish-Argentine Mutual Association or Amia, in Buenos Aires.

One of the accused, Carlos Telleldin, is escorted into court
One of the accused, Carlos Telleldin, is escorted into court
The blast reduced the seven-storey building to rubble in Argentina's worst ever terror attack.

It was the second bombing targeting Jews in Argentina. Two years earlier, a blast destroyed the Israeli embassy, killing 29 people in a case that also remains unsolved.

This trial was the longest in Argentina's history, during which more than 1,200 witnesses gave evidence over three years.

But it is unlikely to be the end of the saga, reports the BBC's Elliott Gotkine from Buenos Aires.

Over the past decade, members of Argentina's 250,000-strong Jewish community have repeatedly accused the police and previous governments of failing to carry out a proper investigation and deliberate cover-ups - accusations the authorities rejected.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Elliot Gotkine
"The judge absolved all of the accused of any responsibility"



SEE ALSO:
Argentina removes bomb case judge
03 Dec 03  |  Americas
Iran blamed for Argentina bomb
06 Nov 03  |  Middle East
Flashback: Argentina bomb
25 Aug 03  |  Americas


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