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Ex-Argentine Leader Acquitted of Blocking Bombing Probe

Former Argentine President Carlos Menem sits in a courthouse in Buenos Aires, Feb. 28, 2019, ahead of the verdict in a trial in which he and other former officials were accused of hampering the investigation of the attack on a Jewish center in Buenos Aires in 1994.

A three-judge court in Buenos Aires on Thursday acquitted former Argentine President Carlos Menem of charges that he interfered with the probe into the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center.

But the court convicted several others on charges related to the deadly terrorist attack that killed 85 and injured at least 300.

Menem's attorney said the ex-president was "relieved." But a victims group criticized the court's ruling, asserting that the Menem government knew the attack was imminent but did nothing to prevent it.

Previous court rulings concluded that the investigation was full of irregularities, corruption and political interference.

Among those found guilty Thursday were a former federal judge and intelligence chief. Both were involved in paying a car dealer accused of supplying the vehicle used in the bombing.

The 1994 attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association building remains unsolved. But Argentina and Israel have long suspected Hezbollah militants were carrying out orders from Iran.

Iran has denied any involvement.