Man arrested for pointing gun at Argentinian V-P Kirchner

The gun did not go off as the man, who approached Vice-President Cristina Kirchner, waved the weapon in her face. PHOTOS: AFP

BUENOS AIRES - A man was arrested in Argentina on Thursday for pointing a gun at Vice-President Cristina Kirchner, security minister Anibal Fernandez said.

Several television channels broadcast footage of the man aiming a gun at the vice-president's head from close range as she was getting out of the car that was taking her home in Buenos Aires.

Mr Fernandez said police would open an investigation.

"Now, the situation has to be analysed by our scientific people to evaluate the fingerprints and the capacity and propensity this person had," he said.

The gun did not go off as the man, who approached Mrs Kirchner as part of a crowd gathering around the politician to ask for her autograph, waved the weapon in her face.

Local media reported the suspect was a Brazilian national.

Mrs Kirchner's opponent party Together for Change condemned the attack.

"My absolute repudiation of the attack suffered by Cristina Kirchner, who fortunately was not injured. This very serious act requires an immediate and deep investigation by prosecutors and security forces," Mr Mauricio Macri, who was president from 2015 to 2019, tweeted.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a strong Kirchner ally who has called the accusations against her a "farce", also tweeted his support Thursday night.

"We send our solidarity to Vice President Cristina Kirchner in the face of the attack against her life," he wrote. "We strenuously reject this act that sought to destabilise the peace of the our brother Argentinian people. The great homeland is with you, comrade!"

Hundreds of activists have gathered in recent days in front of the home of Mrs Kirchner, who is accused of fraudulently awarding public works contracts in her stronghold in Patagonia.

Prosecutors have asked that the ex-president, who ruled from 2007 to 2015, face 12 years in jail and a lifetime ban from politics.

"Nothing, absolutely nothing that they have said was proven," Mrs Kirchner, a lawyer by trade who succeeded her late husband, Nestor Kirchner, as president, said last week.

Mrs Kirchner, 69, is the Senate president and enjoys parliamentary immunity.

Even if convicted - the verdict is expected at the end of the year - she would not go to prison 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. AFP

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.