BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – An Argentine judge ordered former President Carlos Menem Thursday to testify at an upcoming trial over an alleged cover-up after a 1994 bombing of a Jewish center that killed 85 people.
Federal Judge Ariel Lijo also summoned Menem's brother, Munir; a federal judge previously in charge of the investigation; two former intelligence agents; and two former police officers in the case.
The suspects are accused of trying to hide Syrian-Argentine businessman Alberto Jacinto Kanoore Edul's alleged role in the country's worst terror attack, which also wounded 200 people at the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association, or AMIA.
Menem, who governed from 1989-1999 has denied the allegations and accused President Cristina Fernandez and her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, of persecuting him politically.
It is the first time Menem has been summoned to testify in the case, although victims' families have suspected for years that he was involved in a cover-up. He was ordered to appear in court Dec. 9.
The 78-year-old former president, citing health reasons, has failed to appear for a separate trial in which he is accused of arms trafficking.
In a court document, Lijo alleged that Menem ordered his brother to pressure the former judge to stop investigating Kanoore for possible involvement in the bombing.
Kanoore has not been formally charged and his current whereabouts are unknown.