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ARGENTINA | 08-09-2022 03:11

Attacker and girlfriend 'planned' attempted hit on Fernández de Kirchner

Fernando Sabag Montiel, and his girlfriend, Brenda Uliarte, planned the attack on Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, according to preliminary charges filed by judge probing the case.

The man accused of trying to shoot Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner last week planned the attack with his girlfriend, according to preliminary charges filed by a judge, local media reported Wednesday.

The alleged shooter in the attack at point blank range, Fernando André Sabag Montiel, and his girlfriend, Brenda Uliarte, both in custody, are accused of trying to assassinate Fernández de Kirchner "with planning and prior agreement," Judge María Eugenia Capuchetti said in an indictment of the two, according to the Télam state news agency.

Fernández de Kirchner, the 69-year-old former president and current vice-president, survived the assassination attempt as she mingled with supporters outside her home last Thursday night, when a gun brandished by Sabag Montiel failed to fire.

He was taken into custody on the spot and video of the incident quickly spread online.

The charges seen by media Wednesday are preliminary and can still be modified, but they mark the first official charge that the attack on Fernández de Kirchner was premeditated.

The veep enjoys a loyal support base among followers of the Peronist movement inherited from former president Juan Perón. But she is disliked in equal measure by the political opposition.

Tens of thousands of Argentines took to the streets after the shooting attempt.

 

Girlfriend near crime scene

Sabag Montiel, 35, a Brazilian national who has been living in Argentina since his youth, has not told investigators what his motivations were.

Ulliarte, his 23-year-old companion, was arrested Sunday night at a Buenos Aires train station.

Following the attack, she said in television interviews that she had not seen Sabag Montiel for two days, but analysis of video surveillance images has since shown that they were both at the scene of the attack that evening, according to judicial sources cited by the media.

The indictment seen Wednesday night, according to reports, says that Uliarte "was present in the vicinity of the place where they arrived together, and it was determined that they were in possession of the seized firearm with its ammunition, from an earlier date, at least since August 5."

Fernández de Kirchner, who is currently on trial for corruption and accused of accepting bribes in her stronghold province of Santa Cruz, was greeting supporters outside her home in the City neighbourhood of Recoleta when Sabag Montiel, standing amid the crowd, pointed a gun directly at her head.

For reasons yet unknown, the weapon did not go off despite being loaded and the trigger being pulled.

Messages of support for Fernández de Kirchner and condemnation of the attack have poured in from the Pope, the UN, United States and Latin American leaders.

Sabag Montiel had previously been arrested on March 17, 2021, for carrying a knife, but the case was later closed. 

In photos on his Instagram account, he appears to bear numerous tattoos. Some – like one of a black sun and another resembling the Iron Cross – are associated with Nazi symbolism, though no signs of radicalisation have so far been proven.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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