Thursday, May 23, 2024

ARGENTINA | 05-09-2022 08:17

Police confirm arrest of girlfriend of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's attacker

Fernández de Kirchner's lawyer Gregorio Dalbón says he's sure attacker Fernando André Sabag Montiel "didn't act alone," as police confirm arrest of his 23-year-old girlfriend Brenda Uliarte.

Police arrested on Sunday the girlfriend of the man who attempted to shoot Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner after the politician's lawyers claimed the assailant "didn't act alone." 

Fernández de Kirchner, 69, survived the assassination attempt as she mingled with supporters outside her home on Thursday night, when a gun brandished by Fernando André Sabag Montiel failed to fire.

Video footage showed Brenda Uliarte, 23, in the company of attacker Sabag Montiel on the day of the attack, local media said, citing sources close to the investigation. 

Uliarte was arrested under a warrant issued by the magistrate in charge of the investigation, according to judicial sources cited by local media, including the official Télam news agency.

She had claimed in an interview with local television channel Telefe, however, that she had been living with Sabag Montiel for more than a month but had not seen him in the 48 hours before the incident. She also expressed shock that her friend had attempted to kill the former president. 

"To tell the truth, I don't remember any mention of the vice-president. He was complaining about the dollar and the economy, like everyone else," she told Telefe.

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

"He didn't act alone because there were preparatory actions to the assassination attempt," Fernández de Kirchner's lawyer Gregorio Dalbón told the C5N television station, without offering further details. "There were, without a doubt, other people who were aware of this situation."


Intended to kill

Fernández de Kirchner, who is currently on trial for corruption, was greeting supporters outside her Buenos Aires home when Sabag Montiel pointed a gun at her head from within the crowd.

For reasons as yet unknown, the weapon did not go off despite being fired, President Alberto Fernández said shortly after the incident, which led to messages of support from the Pope, the United Nations, United States and Latin American leaders.

The attacker was arrested on the spot and the entire incident caught on camera. 

Fernández de Kirchner's lawyer has said he would also like investigators to interview a man named "Mario," who has identified himself as the attacker's friend.

Shortly after the attack, Mario had told a television channel that he had been friends with Sabag Montiel since they were teenagers and that he was "sure that his intention was to kill" Fernández de Kirchner.

He also said he had not seen Sabag Montiel in 10 months, the period in which the would-be killer had sought to acquire a gun.

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.

"I can say upfront that there are more people involved," the lawyer Dalbón said, adding that "they are not public personalities, they are like this boy." 





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