18 June 2010
Less than a week after a bomb exploded three blocks from the President’s house (ST, June 15), the national prosecutor’s office named a new attorney to head the investigation. Gone are prosecutors Xavier Armendáriz, replaced by Alejandro Peña.
The bomb was the latest in a series of bombs and bomb threats that have plagued the city since 2006. Most are claimed by anarchist or nihilist groups (ST, Nov 24, 2009).
Still, very few suspects have been prosecuted so far. A frustrated Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter called the investigation “slow” – thus putting pressure on the national prosecutor’s office for more decisive action. Armendáriz and Jacir met with Peña Wednesday to hand over the evidence gathered in the last four years.
Peña may also be put in charge of the investigation of Muhammad Saif ur Rehman Khan, the Pakistani accused of having traces of explosive material on his possessions when he entered the US embassy May 10.
Armendáriz and Jacir have been the lead prosecutors for the case until now and have charged Khan under the Arms Control Law, which applies to weapons and explosives. A key part of the investigation has been to discover whether Khan has any links to “terrorist” organizations, such as the groups behind the bombings. So far, no links have been alleged.
SOURCES: EL MERCURIO, LA TERCERA