Gaby Weber
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According to official history, the Israeli Mossad spent years searching for Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, finally kidnapping him in a "heroic operation" in May 1960 in Buenos Aires. The case ended up before the U.N. Security Council, where Argentina caused a huge uproar for alleged "violation of sovereignty". However, after years of research, I have found documents which show that the events of May 1960 were part of the extended history of the Cold War.

According to a document of the Argentine intelligence service SIPBA, Communists and members of the government of President Frondizi conducted the operation. It describes the details and the cars in which Eichmann was transported. It does notmention any Israelis in the direct kidnapping. They served more or less as a pretext, as a document of the German Federal Intelligence Service BND states that was released to me as a result of a lawsuit I filed in German court BVerwG in Leipzig in 2008. After some hours, the Argentine secret service SIDE interrupted this operation, together with the CIA, and took the Argentine kidnappers in custody, together with their little helpers, the Israelis and their hostage Eichmann. The whole story is told in my new documentary "Craters for Peace" (see "Werke" on this homepage). Israeli Minister Abba Eban immediately flew to Argentina in order to get his people released; and he signed a bilateral agreement under which the Argentine government promised to close this diplomatic affair. So, there was no abduction to Israel as such, but only a string of embarrassments.

On March 21, 2016, I filed a legal action in the Administrative Court in Buenos Aires against the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, because it has not responded adequately to my numerous requests to have access to this bilateral agreement. I lost this lawsuit for procederal reasons.

In April 2018, I filed another complaint in the Administrative Court, along with my lawyer Dante Reyes Marín who is also the president of the Association of Foreign Correspondents in Argentina. Since 2016, we have - finally - a law governing access to public information, the law 27.275. It is a good law, but the government does not comply. Based on the new law, I asked again for the agreement between Israel and Argentina of May 1960 and the secret cables whose existence I can prove with especific dates and file numbers. The answer was that the Ministry could not "locate" these cables and that the treaty is not "found" in the Directorate of Treaties. It's a stupid answer, because these documents are indeed held in the Ministry but in the section containing classified records.

In October 2020, the Tribunal emitted a decision. The Ministry should deliver copies of the documents to me within 15 working days. This is a big victory for transparency and human rights.

But, Ministry appealed. They argue that the delivery of the documents "causes an irreparable burden". They do not explain the meaning of this "burden". Problems with Israel? Or problems with the bureaucratic apparatus itself? Or what? They hide behind the AAIP, the Agency for Access to Public Information, a government body and not independent. It responds to government orders. The Ministry call my request for information "libel", arguing that the case has nothing to do with human rights and that is why the sentences cited by the judge do not correspond. This argument is outrageous, Eichmann was a murderer convicted of being co-responsible for the Shoah. It was a crime against humanity.

Nowhere do they answer our question that we have presented to the court: where the ministry keeps ther secret documents. They glorify themselves saying that the Ministsry always was in favour of transparency, citing the decree No. 232 of 3 February 1992. That decree "revoked all reservations for 'reasons of state' regarding documentation relating to Nazi criminals". But they do not apply it.

 On August 10, 2021, the Chamber IV of the Federal Administrative Court decided to ratify the decision made in 2020 by the judge of first instance. The still secret documents must be declassified and handed over to me within 15 days. The last appeal was also dismissed at the end of December 2021, so the judgment is actually final. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented an appeal with the Supreme Court, but this does not prevent the sentence from being carried out.

In February 2022, the Foreign Ministry wrote to the court that it does not plan to deliver the documents. Now I have asked the court to finally force the ministry to provide information about where the secret documents are kept and to register this place with bailiffs. I also referred to Decree 232/92 of former Peronist President Carlos Menem, who had already decreed in 1992 that all Argentine authorities had to transfer their documents to the General Archive of the Nation and make them accessible to citizens if they were related to Nazi war criminals. , especially if they were Nazis that Argentina had sheltered after World War II. This decree is still valid, and it applies explicitly and without exception to secret documents.

In response, the ministry announced in February 2023 that it had applied to the criminal justice system to investigate the alleged removal of documents from its archives by unknown persons. With that, the ministry wants to close the case. I stand by my request to search the Ministry's secret archives. Now the judge will decide.