Kuzma/iStock(BUENOS AIRES, Argentina) — Almost a quarter-century has passed since the deadliest terror attack in Argentine history.
The AMIA Jewish social service center building in downtown Buenos Aires was leveled by a bomb on July 18, 1994, killing 85 and wounding 150 more.
On Thursday, an Argentine court found the federal judge for the original court case, two prosecutors, a police commissioner, the head of Argentina's intelligence service at the time and two top intelligence operatives guilty of covering up a Syrian connection and paying off witnesses to derail the investigation.
A three-judge panel also absolved former president of Argentina Carlos Menem, a Jewish community leader, and three other intelligence and police officials, saying there was insufficient proof to tie them to the crimes.
Diana Malamud, the leader of Memoria Activa (Active Memory), the organization of families of AMIA victims that has demanded justice for more than 24 years, called the verdict, "a tremendous victory".
"The court considered their crimes as serious violations of human rights, which means there is no statute of limitations," Malamud told ABC News.
Four former police officers spent seven years in prison due to the false accusations of the witness who was paid $480,000 by intelligence services for his testimony in the original case. The former officers were exonerated in 2004.
In 2005, another Argentine court charged eight Iranian officials in absentia with ordering the attack. However, that court never mentioned the local connection which would have had to carry out the alleged orders for the deadly bombing.
"It's finally a step in the right direction, a vindication for all these years of battling for justice by the families", commented Malamud.
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