Federal judge María Eugenia Capuchetti announced today that the three suspects in the assassination attempt against Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will be sent to oral and public trial, meaning that the investigation into their involvement has now been closed.
Fernando Sabag Montiel, Brenda Uliarte, and Nicolás Carrizo are commonly referred to as the “Cotton Candy Gang” because they posed as street vendors of the sweet treat to allegedly spy on the vice president. On September 1 2022 Sabag Montiel attempted to shoot Kirchner at point-blank range outside her Recoleta home. Carrizo and Uliarte were arrested alongside him as accomplices shortly after, accused of planning and executing the attack.
However, Kirchner and her lawyers have consistently asked the courts to investigate the Cotton Candy Gang’s financing and their possible connections to far-right groups like Revolución Federal and political parties. Such ties have not been proven.
Federal prosecutor Carlos Rivolo had requested that the three suspects be sent to oral trial on May 29. At the time, Kirchner published a scathing letter in which she singled out both Rivolo and Capuchetti.
“I’ve said it a thousand and one times: neither Capuchetti nor Rivolo wanted to investigate the assassination attempt, and now they’re hoping to close the investigation with a celerity that they’ve never shown with any other case,” she wrote on her website.
Kirchner and her lawyers contend that the judicial authorities handling the case are deliberately blocking the investigation into the intellectual authors of the attack by focusing only on the material authors. They also claim that sending parts of the complex case to oral trial separately further obfuscates the truth.
Capuchetti refers to their legal complaint throughout today’s resolution.
“Opposition to sending the case to trial for Sabag Montiel, Uliarte and Carrizo based on a supposed detriment to the search for truth due to separating elements of the case has no reason to prosper,” wrote Capuchetti.
The complaint had called for the judiciary to further investigate what’s known as the “Milman lead” — referring to Congress representative Gerardo Milman, who is alleged to have said: “When they kill her I’ll be on my way to the coast” two days before the assassination attempt. In May, Milman’s former secretary Ivana Bohdziewicz gave testimony alleging that the contents of her phone had been wiped clean at offices belonging to a group led by opposition presidential candidate Patricia Bullrich.
“Even substantiating numerous measures, some that encroach particularly into the private sphere (raids, seizures, and confiscations), there has not been a gathering of robust objective [evidence] that would reach beyond the terrain of mere conjecture regarding the hypothesis that is sustained so emphatically here,” said Capuchetti’s ruling.
The vice president has yet to comment on the latest update in the trial.