Monday, July 15, 2024

ARGENTINA | 26-06-2024 16:05

The defendants standing trial for Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's attempted murder

Fernando Sabag Montiel, Brenda Uliarte and Nicolás Carrizo are the defendants standing trial for the attempted assassination of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

The trial into the attempted assassination of former president and vice-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner began on Wednesday.

Three people are at the heart of these proceedings: Fernando Sabag Montiel, Brenda Uliarte and Nicolás Carrizo.


Fernando Sabag Montiel

Fernando Sabag Montiel, aged 37, is the main defendant. He stands accused of pulling the trigger of a Bersa .32 pistol aimed at Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on September 1, 2022, as the then-vice president was entering her home in Recoleta, Buenos Aires City. Footage of the incident shows Sabag Montiel pointing a gun a few inches away from her head; however, the bullet did not fire and got stuck in the chamber.

Sabag Montiel was promptly detained by the former vice-president’s security detail.

Born in Brazil, Sabag Montiel has lived in Argentina since he was young. His profile on various social media platforms highlight links to extremist ideas and marginal groups.

His defence team, currently headed by public defender María Fernanda López Puleio, claims his mental state makes him unfit to stand a criminal trial.


Brenda Uliarte

Brenda Uliarte, 25 years old, was Sabag Montiel’s girlfriend and she was with him during the assault, accompanying him to the area but not engaging in the attack itself.

She is deemed a co-perpetrator of attempted murder though, since investigations have revealed that she accompanied Sabag Montiel in the planning and execution of the attack.

Uliarte was arrested a few days after the incident and her defence team is led by attorney Alejandro Cipolla.

Also known as “Ámbar,”Uliarte worked as a candy floss street-seller. Through messages and videos recovered by the investigative team, her active involvement in the preparation of the attack is apparent, say prosecutors.


Nicolás Carrizo

Nicolás Carrizo, 27, has been named as a secondary participant in the attack. He is accused of having liaised with Sabag Montiel and Uliarte during vigils held in support of Fernández de Kirchner denouncing the corruption trial against her at the corner of Juncal and Uruguay streets in Recoleta prior to the attack.

Carrizo was the leader of the group of candy floss vendors and his involvement in the attack is based on intercepted communications discussing details of the attack.

He maintains his innocence, claiming that he had no prior knowledge of the assassination plan. His defence team is in hands of attorney Gastón Marano, who argues that Carrizo only had a working relationship with the other two defendants and took no part in the planning of the attack.


Context of the attack

The assassination attempt took place at a time of great political tension in Argentina, when Fernández de Kirchner was standing trial for corruption in the so-called 'Vialidad' case (she was later sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison and a lifetime ban from political office, a conviction she is appealing).

Sabag Montiel, Uliarte and Carrizo took part in vigils in support of the then-vice-president, using the sale of candy floss as a cover to study her movements and get closer to her.


The trial

The trial into this assassination attempt is expected to last between six months and a year and more than 270 witnesses have been summoned to testify, including Fernández de Kirchner herself.



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