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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 August 2005, 21:51 GMT 22:51 UK
Argentine bomb probe judge sacked
The aftermath of the 1994 bombing of the Jewish centre in Buenos Aires
The Jewish centre blast killed 85 people and injured more than 200
An Argentine judge has been sacked after his inquiry failed to secure any convictions over the bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires in 1994.

A disciplinary panel found Juan Jose Galeano had been involved in bribing a key witness during his investigation.

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

Last year the five main suspects in the bombing were found not guilty, sparking protests by thousands of Argentines.

'Serious irregularities'

Members of the country's Jewish community have repeatedly accused the government of the former president, Carlos Menem, of obstructing the inquiry - something it strongly denies.

Judge Galeano was removed from the case in December 2003, shortly before it reached court, amid charges he had mishandled the investigation.

Among other "serious" irregularities, the disciplinary panel found that the judge had paid $400,000 (225,000) to a key witness in return for evidence.

He has now been formally removed from his post and could face a criminal prosecution.

Judge Galeano has always denied allegations of misconduct.

Government 'to blame'

The car bomb at the Jewish Argentine Mutual Association (AMIA) was one of two attacks targeting Argentina's 200,000-strong Jewish community in the 1990s.

The 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires also remains unsolved.

In July 2005, Argentina issued a decree formally accepting a share of the blame for the failure of investigations into the AMIA attack.

President Nestor Kirchner said governments had covered up facts, and that the decree established a mechanism for victims to receive compensation.

The masterminds behind the attack have never been identified, but it has been blamed on extremist Islamist groups.

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

Last September five people, including four former police officers, were acquitted of involvement because of a lack of evidence.


SEE ALSO:
Argentines rally for bomb justice
09 Sep 04 |  Americas
Argentina bomb suspects acquitted
02 Sep 04 |  Americas
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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