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Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner: 'Assassination attempt' on Argentina vice-president

todaySeptember 1, 2022 2

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By Alex Binley

BBC News

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner gives a speech.Image source, Reuters

Image caption,

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was president of Argentina from 2007 to 2015.

A man has been arrested after pointing a gun at Argentina’s former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as she greeted supporters outside her home.

Footage appears to show a man in a crowd aim the gun at the face of the vice-president at close range – but the weapon does not fire.

Ms de Kirchner was not hurt in the incident outside her Buenos Aires home.

The politician is in the midst of a corruption trial and was returning from court. She denies the charges.

Argentina’s economy minister, Sergio Massa, called the attempted shooting an “attempted assassination”.

“When hate and violence prevail over debate, societies are destroyed and situations like these arise: attempted assassination,” he said in a tweet.

Footage shared on local media showed the man aiming a gun inches away from her head and appearing to attempt a shot. She then lowers her head but no shots were fired.

In another video posted on social media, others in the crowd appear to try to block Ms de Kirchner from the suspected gunman.

A police spokesperson told Reuters news agency that an “armed” man had been arrested near Ms De Kirchner’s home and “a weapon was found a few metres from the scene”. They said the man could be of Brazilian origin.

In recent days, hundreds of protesters have gathered in support outside the 69-year-old’s home in the capital while the trial is under way.

Ms de Kirchner is accused of defrauding the state and being involved in a scheme to divert public funds while she was president between 2007 and 2015.

If convicted at trial, prosecutors have asked that the ex-president face 12 years in prison and a lifetime ban from politics.

However, Ms de Kirchner is the Senate president and so enjoys parliamentary immunity. She would not be imprisoned unless her sentence was ratified by the country’s Supreme Court, or she loses her Senate seat at the next elections at the end of 2023.

Ms Kirchner has faced numerous other corruption trials following her time as president. The verdict of this trial is expected to take some months.

Image source, Reuters

Image caption,

Police officers stand guard as forensics work is carried out following the attempted shooting.

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