Monday, July 15, 2024

ARGENTINA | 04-07-2024 16:23

CFK attempted murder trial: Nicolás Carrizo says he 'would never kill a person'

Nicolás Carrizo weeps as he defended himself in court on Wednesday, saying he would "never kill a person" during second hearing into September 2022 attempted assassination of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Nicolás Carrizo, accused of complicity in the attempted murder of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner 22 months ago, broke down in tears on Wednesday as he defended himself in court, testifying he would "never kill a person."

Carrizo, 27, wept as he denied the allegations against him during the second hearing of the trial into the attempted assassination of the ex-president.

On September 1, 2022, would-be-assassin Fernando Sabag Montiel, armed with a pistol, mingled with a group of CFK’s supporters outside the former vice-president’s flat in Recoleta, approached her and – standing just inches from her face – pulled the trigger several times. 

The loaded gun did not fire, saving Argentina from the chaos that would have ensued after the assassination of one of its most prominent political figures. 

The failed murder attempt shocked society, breaking boundaries in a nation that suffered bloody political violence in the late 1970s and 1980s but has been a peaceful democracy ever since.

Carrizo was fingered by prosecutors as a "planner" of the magnicide attempt after incriminating messages were found on his mobile phone in the wake of the attack.

"All the messages were jokes because they were after the attack, I never exchanged a message with them planning anything," said Carrizo, referring to his two co-defendants.

The trial focuses on the three accused: Sabag Montiel, 37; his ex-girlfriend Brenda Uliarte, 25, who is charged as co-perpetrator; and Carrizo, who employed the duo as street vendors. 

After the failed attack, Carrizo boasted that his "employee" had carried out the assassination attempt. 

"I applaud him, he was one second away from being a national hero," read one of the messages found on his mobile phone.

On Wednesday, Uliarte attempted to bring forward her testimony, asking to speak before Carrizo. But after a few minutes of answering questions, she asked to annul her remarks because she did not feel up to it.

Hours earlier, Uliarte's lawyer, Alejandro Cipolla, told the press that his client had not planned to testify but that she had taken pills that altered her lucidity.

Sabag Montiel gave evidence last Wednesday on the opening day of the trial. He described the assassination attempt as "an act of justice," arguing Fernández de Kirchner “is corrupt, steals and harms society.”

"The idea was to kill Cristina," Sabag Montiel said, claiming responsibility for the attack. 

He is charged with attempted aggravated murder, a crime that carries a jail sentence of up to 25 years behind bars.

The trial, however, will not deal with the alleged financiers or plotters of the attack, a decision that has angered Fernández de Kirchner.

The former president has asked that the alleged masterminds of the attack be probed fully, an investigation that currently forms part of a parallel investigation and has not been integrated into this trial, despite a legal challenge from the former president.

During the hearings, which will be held weekly on Wednesdays, almost 300 witnesses will give evidence, including Fernández de Kirchner herself, in a process that is expected to last up to a year.


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