Argentine Vice President Cristina Kirchner’s assailant two weeks ago, and her young partner, were both formally charged Thursday with premeditated “aggravated murder” and sent back to pre-trial detention.
Fernando Sabag Montiel, 35, was overwhelmed and arrested on the spot when the shot was not fired, and his friend Brenda Uliarte, 23, was arrested three days later. His presence at the scene that same evening had been confirmed by video surveillance images, when he had assured him that he hadn’t seen her friend for two days.
In his resolution, consulted by the AFP, judge Maria Capuchetti considers the two defendants “co-authors”. She will then have to decide the fate of two acquaintances of the couple arrested this week: Agustina Diaz, 21, with a proven degree of complicity according to the judge, and Nicolas Gabriel Carrizo, 27, still in custody. .
The trigger pulled “at least once”
Cristina Kirchner, former head of state (2007-2015) and a leading figure of the Peronist left, influential and divisive in Argentine politics, was the victim of an attempted attack on September 1, when she mingled with supporters who passed by every evening. hundreds to her home to express their support for her while she is on trial for corruption, which she denies.
Fernando Sabag Montiel, in the crowd, had pointed a gun about a meter from Ms. Kirchner’s head, but for some uncertified reason the shot did not go off. The weapon – a 7.65 caliber Bersa semiautomatic pistol – was loaded with five bullets and functional, but with no bullet stuck in the chamber, according to judicial sources. The judge notes that Fernando Sabag Montiel “pulled at least once” on the trigger.
Scene “studied in detail”
The investigation, based largely on the analysis of the reports of the suspects’ social networks, computers and phones, had established a “planning and a prior agreement”. In particular, the presence every evening of many supporters of Ms Kirchner near her home “was studied in detail by the two (defendants) to choose the right moment for the attack, in order to achieve their goal”, according to the judge. .
The reasons of the two main suspects, with a precarious profile, without recent formal employment, have not been clearly established. Fernando Sabag Montiel had once been an app driver – but ran out of money to fix his car – and Brenda Uliarte was selling cotton candy on the streets.
Not even an active politicization towards them was demonstrated at this stage, even though Fernando Sabag Montiel wore tattoos – a black sun and an iron cross – linked to neo-Nazi symbolism. And although some messages showed Brenda Uliarte’s affinity for liberal-libertarian politician Javier Milei, and an obvious hostility towards Cristina Kirchner and the government. “I sent (someone) to kill Cristina,” she said in one of the messages.
“Words, then acts of hatred”
The attempted attack resulted in demonstrations the next day that brought tens of thousands of people together in several cities in Argentina and a wave of international condemnation.
Thursday Cristina Kirchner intervened for the first time in public since the incident, expressing her emotion at being “alive, thanks to God and the Virgin”, and evoking the support of Pope Francis, who a few hours after the attack had call. “I feel I am alive, thank God and the Virgin, really”, she declared in a broken voice, receiving in the Senate – which she presides – priests and nuns who work with the poor and in the “villas miserias”, the slums.