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Judge Indicts Four Police Officers in Anti-Jewish Bombing

August 1, 1996

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ Three police officials and a former officer are charged with homicide in a 1994 bombing that is considered the worst attack on Jews outside Israel since World War II.

A chief inspector, two deputy chief inspectors and a former officer are accused of supplying the van packed with explosives that leveled the seven-story Argentine Jewish Mutual Association building, killing 86 and injuring 250.

Wednesday’s indictments marked a breakthrough for an investigating team that has come under fire at home and abroad for its failure to identify the architects of the blast.

Argentina, Israel and the United States have accused Iran-backed militants in the attack, but no firm links have been established.

Prosecutor Eamon Mullen has said he hopes the bombers’ identities will come out in the course of the trial.

Charged were Chief Inspector Juan Jose Ribelli; Deputy Chief Inspectors Raul Edilio Ibarra and Irineo Leal; and Mario Norberto Barreiro, a former deputy chief inspector.

They are part of a group of 15 current and former officers arrested in July on charges of operating a stolen car ring. The other 11 officers also were indicted, but on charges unrelated to the bombing.

Another suspect, Carlos Telleldin, was charged in 1994 with refurbishing the stolen van and handing it over to the ring, which sold it to the bombers, the judge in the case said.

A similar bombing in March 1992 destroyed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people and injuring more than 200. No one has been arrested or charged in that incident.

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