Saturday, June 25, 2022

ARGENTINA | 10-02-2020 15:53

Two rugby players involved in Villa Gesell killing released from jail

Forensic evidence from video footage of the attack, in conjunction with eye witness testimony, raises doubt as to whether Alejo Milanesi and Juan Pedro Guarino were directly involved in the attack, according to reports.

Two of the 10 rugby players involved in the murder of Fernando Báez Sosa, Alejo Milanesi, 20, and Juan Pedro Guarino, 19, have been released from jail, according to reports.

Verónica Zamboni, the prosecutor handling the case, argued before judges on Monday that there is sufficient proof to consider that eight others involved in the attack – Lucas Pertossi, Luciano Pertossi, Enzo Comelli, Máximo Thomsen, Blas Cinalli, Ciro Pertossi, Matías Franco Benicelli and Ayrton Michael Viollaz – should be held responsible for Báez Sosa’s death and sent to trial.

However, in the case of Guarino and Milanesi, although it is proven that they were in Villa Gesell and with the rest of the group that night, not enough proof exists at present to hold them directly accountable for the crime.

“All doubt in the process must be valued in favor of the accused,” said Zambroni in a filing which requested the release of the two rugby teammates seen by Perfil.

The main element that benefitted the two young players was an expert analysis of video recorded via cellphones, according to reports.

In the case of Milanesi, among the large number of witnesses who participated in the procedure, none confirmed that they could identify him as an aggressor in the beating. Only one witness saw him standing nearby, without participating, judicial sources said.

So far, Zamboni maintains that preliminary analysis of videos – those recorded prior to and during the attack – do not show either of the two accused as having participating in the brutal assault against Báez. However, video analysis will continue, the prosecutor said.

At the time of his apprehension, Milanesi presented injuries to his hands that police used to justify his arrest, though it remains unclear whether those injuries occurred that same night.

Alejo Milanesi played rugby with Juan Guarino, Blas Cinalli and the brothers Ciro and Luciano Pertossi at the Arsenal de Zárate Yacht Club. The foursome were subsequently suspended by the club's board of directors because their alleged participation in the attack against Báez, with the club saying the event "affects the image that the institution proclaims." 

Milanesi, 20, is the son of a professor at the National Technological University (UTN) and a teacher.

In the case of Guarino, although he was filmed near the exit of the Le Brique nightclub by both security cameras and Lucas Pertossi's mobile phone in the immediate vicinity of the event, none of the images show that he engaged in the attack, according to reporting by Infobae.

Although a single witness said he was in the vicinity of the attack, none have indicated him as an aggressor.

At the time of his arrest, Guarino had no injuries corresponding to a beating, only a small burn mark on his hand, Noticias Argentinas reported on Monday.


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