Argentina pleges 'full security' for journalists after 1 flees

GMT 22:24 2015 Monday ,26 January

Arab Today, arab today Argentina pleges 'full security' for journalists after 1 flees

Presidential chief of staff, Jorge Capitanich
Buenos Aires - AFP

A top aide to President Cristina Kirchner offered assurances Monday that journalists enjoy "full security" in Argentina after a reporter who revealed the suspicious death of a key prosecutor fled to Israel.
Damian Pachter left Argentina on Saturday, saying he had received threats and was followed after being the first to report the sudden death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
Nisman was found in his Buenos Aires home with a gunshot to the head on January 18, the day before he was to go before a congressional hearing to accuse Kirchner of obstructing his investigation into a 1994 bombing at a Jewish community center.
"In Argentina, there is full security for all journalists," cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich said.
"There is no obstacle for any journalist to express whatever he thinks."
Pachter, a journalist for the English-language Buenos Aires Herald who holds dual Argentinian-Israeli citizenship, took refuge in Israel.
The reporter, who also worked with Israel's Haaretz daily, told colleagues his phones had been tapped in Argentina.
In a column published by Haaretz entitled "Why I fled Argentina after breaking the story of Alberto Nisman's death," Pachter recounted the intimidation that led him to leave Argentina.
He also criticized the Telam national news agency and the Twitter account of the Casa Rosada presidential palace for publishing information about his plane tickets, which included a return date.
Capitanich defended the decision to release Pachter flight information, denying it was an invasion of privacy.
Since it was being said Pachter felt threatened and his whereabouts were not known, Capitanich argued, "it was very important to publish the information so there was public knowledge of his whereabouts."
The cabinet chief also suggested that Pachter should have provided authorities with a photograph of the man he said followed him, so that he could be identified.
Nisman had accused Kirchner and her foreign minister Hector Timerman of shielding Iranian officials implicated in the bombing of the Argentine-Israelite Mutual Association, which killed 84 people.
His death has set off a huge scandal, with Kirchner suggesting Nisman was manipulated by former intelligence agents who then killed him to smear her.
Investigators have said his death appeared to be a suicide, but it has been classified as a "suspicious" death and homicide or an "induced suicide" have not been ruled out.

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