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Page last updated at 21:19 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 22:19 UK

Menem charged over bomb inquiry

Carlos Menem, 1999 file photo
Mr Menem, the 1989-99 president, was accused of destroying evidence

An Argentine judge has indicted ex-President Carlos Menem for allegedly trying to cover up evidence related to a deadly 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires.

A car bomb hit a Jewish community centre, known as the AMIA, killing 85.

In a written statement, the judge said Mr Menem covered up what was called at the time "the Syrian connection". He has previously denied any wrongdoing.

At the start of the investigation, the spotlight had turned on an Argentine Syrian friend of the Menem family.

The judge accused Mr Menem of covering up and destroying evidence, and abusing his authority.

His brother, Munir Menem, who was presidential chief of staff at the time, a former federal judge, two intelligence chiefs and two police officers were also indicted.

Speaking to local reporters, the chief prosecutor in the investigation, Alberto Nissman, said he had requested this indictment a long time ago.

According to Mr Nissman, Carlos Menem ordered the cover-up, his brother communicated it and the judge, the police and intelligence officers carried it out.

Mr Nissman said the evidence destroyed had been on 54 tape cassettes.

He has accused Iran of involvement in the attack - the worst in Argentina since World War II.

The Argentine Jewish community is the largest in Latin America.



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