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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Daniel Politi

Argentina: Prosecutor calls for trial of suspects in VP assassination attempt

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

The prosecutor in Argentina who is leading the investigation into the failed assassination attempt against Vice President Cristina Fernández called on Monday for the three detained suspects to face trial and said there is so far no evidence that points to political financing or planning of the alleged crime.

Fernández, a former president (2007-2015) who remains politically powerful, harshly criticized the prosecutor, and the justice system as a whole, claiming there didn’t seem to be any interest in investigating who could have been behind the Sept. 1, 2022 assassination attempt.

Prosecutor Carlos Alberto Rivolo said the main investigation into the case was over and called for the judge in charge of the case, María Eugenia Capuchetti, to bring the three suspects to trial.

The main suspect in the case is Fernando Sabag Montiel, who is accused of attempting to open fire close to Fernández outside her home last year. Television images from the scene showed how the trigger of the gun was pulled but the bullet failed to leave the gun’s chamber.

Brenda Uliarte, Sabag Montiel’s girlfriend, is also detained as a presumed participant in the crime as well as Nicolás Carrizo.

The prosecutor said the three suspects planned the attack on the vice president and said there was no evidence that they received financing for the assassination bid nor that they were following orders.

“It is important to indicate that all the evidence collected so far does not support the existence of any kind of organization, political party, or partisan individuals or groups who may have financed, planned, covered up, or in any way contributed to the investigated crime,” Rivolo wrote.

Rivolo said the investigation into the possible involvement of others in the assassination attempt should continue separately “in order to avoid prolonging the procedural situation of the individuals accused here, who are currently deprived of their freedom.”

Fernández criticized Rivolo’s decision, saying he “completely disregards assessing everything related to the lines of investigation that point to individuals beyond Uliarte, Sabag Montiel and Carrizo.”

Throughout the investigation, Fernández and her allies have criticized the prosecutor and other judicial officials for what they said appeared to be an effort to not look beyond those immediately responsible for the assassination attempt. The vice president had even pointed to leaders of the opposition for their possible involvement.

“I have said it a thousand times: neither Capuchetti nor Rívolo wanted to investigate the assassination attempt, and now they intend to close the investigation with a speed they have never shown in any other case,” Fernández wrote in a post on her website in which she publishes photos of the judge and prosecutor.

President Alberto Fernández has demanded on several occasions that the justice system expedite the investigation into those who may be behind the failed attack.

Fernández, the vice president, has long been critical of the country’s justice system, saying prosecutors and judges act as operators for powerful business interests.

That criticism only increased after she was convicted to six year sin prison and a lifetime ban from holding public office in a corruption case in December. The sentence still needs to be revised by higher courts.

“As I have said, for CFK, there is and will be no justice, neither as an accused nor as a victim,” Fernández wrote, using a common acronym for her name. “They want me imprisoned or dead.”

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