Last Friday night in Buenos Aires, Claudio Lifschitz, former secretary to the judge in charge of the AMIA bombing investigation, was kidnapped and tortured in Buenos Aires by three hooded men who later released him.
Buenos Aires: Former Jewish center bombing investigator says was abducted
Former investigator of 1994 terror attack Claudio Lifschitz says hooded men forced him into their car, tattooed case file number on his arm with blowtorch and told him ‘not to mess’ with internal security service
The Argentinean daily Clarin reported Saturday that Claudio Lifschitz, a former investigator of the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, claimed he was kidnapped and tortured by elements trying to coerce him into disclosing documents related to the case.
Lifschitz’s attorney told the C5N television station that on Friday night, at around midnight, a passing car forced his client to pull over in Buenos Aires’ Villa Devoto neighborhood. He was then whisked away by unknown assailants, the attorney said.
According to Lifschitz, the kidnappers covered his head with a garbage bag, and, using a blowtorch, tattooed the case file number on his arm and the letters A-M-I-A on his back.
“A van passed me by and hooded men stepped out of it,” he recalled. “They forced me to climb into their vehicle, placed a garbage bag over my head and told me not to mess with SIDE (the Argentinean internal security service). They questioned me a number of times about tapes that tie Iran to the terror attack. They told me ‘you can relax, we won’t murder you. You’ll live until we decide otherwise’.”
After taking away his cell phone, the assailants released Lifschitz near the police academy building in the capital.
Lifschitz’s prior testimony in congress caused the investigation to collapse: In 2000, Lifschitz testified before the Argentinian Parliament and denounced judge Juan José Galeano for irregularities in the AMIA investigation. According to Ámbito, the former head of the secret service, Hugo Anzorreguy, had confessed giving $400,000 to Galeano, who in turn paid off a third person to incriminate policemen in the investigation. Twenty-two people, including several policemen, which had been accused of being involved in the attack were absolved for lack of evidence in 2004, after nearly three years of court proceedings.
Judge Galeano was removed from his post as federal judge in 2005.
Clarín* quotes Lifschitz,
The attorney said that his kidnappers were interested in a cassette linking Iranians to the AMIA case. “They insisted on the subject of the cassettes that link Iranians with the plot. They burned my arm with the six-digit number of the AMIA case and wrote on my back. This happened at 12 midnight or so. They told me, stay quiet, we’re not going to kill you, you’re going to live for as long as we allow you to.”
He also said that when the kidnappers found his Rosary they told him, “What are you doing with this, you’re Jewish. That’s when I felt them turn on a blow torch and burning on my back.”
Iran has refused to deport any suspects in the case.
* Please note I translated from the article. If you use the translation, please link to this post.