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ARGENTINA | 26-06-2024 16:42

Would-be assassin tells court he wanted to kill Cristina Fernández de Kirchner for 'social good'

Fernando Sabag Montiel testifies in his trial over the attempted assassination of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in September 2022. "I wanted to kill her," he tells court.

Fernando Sabag Montiel, the man who tried to shoot former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner at point-blank range in September 2022 told his murder trial Wednesday the failed assassination bid was "an act of justice" for "the social good."

Fernández de "Kirchner is corrupt, she steals and harms society," said Fernando Sabag Montiel, 37, whose gun misfired after he held it to the then-vice president's face and pulled the trigger twice, on September 1, 2022. 

An unrepentant Sabag Montiel went on trial Wednesday for attempted murder over the botched shooting of the veteran politician, who has been a central figure in Argentina for two decades.

"The idea was to kill Cristina," Sabag Montiel said as he claimed responsibility for the attempted murder at the first hearing of a trial expected to take up to a year.

"I think that anyone or most people feel the same way as I do. Basically it is redundant in thoughts that may be popularly accepted or well seen by part of society," he urged.

Sabag Montiel appeared in court alongside his then-girlfriend Brenda Uliarte, 25, who is being charged as a co-conspirator and allegedly incited the attack in text messages.

A third suspect, Nicolás Carrizo, 29, is a friend of the couple charged as an accomplice.

In court, the charges were read out, citing messages with clear references to the plan to kill Fernández de Kirchner.

Sabag Montiel explained Wednesday that the attack was "for personal reasons,” as he considers himself an "apolitical" person. 

"It is an act of justice, it was not an act where I tried to favour myself economically or otherwise. It has more of a deep, ethical connotation, committed to the social good than anything else," he remarked.

"I am apolitical first and foremost. The basis or the incentive for which I committed the attack is not because I have a position that is antithetical to Kirchnerism or because I am in an opposing sector. I remain apolitical. The aims are more of a personal nature than an aim that could benefit any political sector," he specified.

Asked about his relationship with the other defendants, Sabag Montiel explained that his relationship with Brenda Uliarte "dates back seven years," beginning as "friends with rights," but only began dating "a month before the attack."

"Practically nothing. It could not be taken as a serious courtship or a relevant relationship, either on her part or mine," he clarified. 

"We never shared political affections,” he added.


– TIMES/AFP

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