Natalio Alberto Nisman (5 December 1963 – 18 January 2015) was an Argentine lawyer who worked as a federal prosecutor, noted for being the chief investigator of the 1994 car bombing of the Jewish center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people, the worst terrorist attack in Argentina’s history.
On 18 January 2015, Nisman was found dead at his home in Buenos Aires.
Alberto Nisman was born to a middle-class Jewish family in Buenos Aires. He started his career as a prosecutor in Morón, Buenos Aires. He was married to judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado, with whom he had two daughters. Religiously he was not observant.
He graduated from the University of Buenos Aires, and served as a law clerk at the National Tribunals Courthouse. He was later appointed prosecutor in the suburban Morón, Buenos Aires, district.
Nisman was appointed Special Prosecutor in charge of the AMIA bombing investigation on 13 September 2004. The probe into the 1994 terrorist attack against the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) had been marked by judicial misconduct, and had reached an impasse. On October 25, 2006, Nisman formally accused the government of Iran of directing the AMIA bombing, and the Hezbollah militia of carrying it out.
According to the prosecution, Argentina had been targeted by Iran after Buenos Aires’ decision to suspend a nuclear technology transfer contract to Tehran. In November 2007, following the accusation, Interpol published the names of six individuals officially accused for their role in the terrorist attack. They were entered in the Interpol red notice list: Imad Fayez Moughnieh, Ali Fallahijan, Mohsen Rabbani, Ahmad Reza Asghari, Ahmad Vahidi and Mohsen Rezaee.
Nisman asked in 2008 for the detention of the former President Carlos Menem and Judge Juan José Galeano, who first presided over the AMIA case until his removal in 2004. WikiLeaks revealed that US diplomats considered that Nisman may have done this so as to be in good standing with President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
He was considered a possible candidate for General Prosecutor of the Nation, after the resignation of Esteban Righi during the Boudougate scandal in 2012.
Nisman was found dead at his home in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, on 18 January 2015 with a Bersa Thunder 22 handgun nearby just hours before he was due to explain his allegations to Congress, and six days after publishing the 288 page report. According to the autopsy, Nisman died the previous afternoon and had an entry bullet wound on the right temple with no exit wound.
His body was found inside the bathroom and blocking the door, and there were no signs of forced entry or robbery in the apartment. Nonetheless, a locksmith who arrived at Nisman’s apartment was quoted as stating that he found a hidden entrance to the apartment open upon his arrival.