The judge Maria Eugenia Capuchetti and the prosecutor Carlos Rivolo dedicated a good part of Sunday to understand what happened to the phone of the man who wanted to assassinate Cristina Fernández de Kirchner after Page 12 revealed that the device had arrived formatted – as if it had left the factory – at the headquarters of the Airport Security Police (PSA).
The PSA agents had to extract the data that would allow them to understand who he communicated with before the attempted murder and what were the networks in which they moved. Despite the criticisms launched by different referents of the ruling party – pointing out that a key piece of evidence to unravel if Fernando Sabag Montiel it is part of a larger plot–, in Comodoro Py, the Court of the Federal Capital of Argentina, they trust to be able to recover the information.
Sabag Montiel’s telephone number is important evidence, but it is far from being the only one in a case in which the attacker and the weapon were identified from the outset. The cell phone is fundamental because it can open a door to the world of that 35-year-old man: what were her links or if he had links with political groups determined to attack the vice president until they tried to kill her.
On Friday, the Capuchetti court summoned the Argentine Federal Police (PFA) to try to extract information through an Israeli program called UFED. The extraction failed because the telephone was blocked and Sabag Montiel’s password was not available, who also did not agree to provide it when they went to investigate him at the PFA headquarters, where he is detained.
When the PSA agents advanced the expertise they discovered that the mobile had been reset
The PSA informed the court that had a more modern version than the PFA, which could help bypass the lock. The phone came into the hands of the body he directs Joseph Glinski through Capuchetti’s custody with an open envelope, which caused some alarm. When the expertise progressed, a notice appeared that the phone had been reset to factory status. I mean, like new.
In what was an atypical Sunday for Comodoro Py, in the Capuchetti court they took statements from both the PFA experts who had initially wanted to extract the data and those from the PSA who received the reset device. Investigators listened with interest to the testimony he gave Camila Serena PSA technician who tested the phone.
The specialist said that the error code that was generated in the unlocking could not have been due to a manual error – as if someone was manipulating the phone – but that it has to happen when the cell phone is connected to the computer to pass the UFED program.
The next question is why the phone was reset to zero. Explanations can be grouped into two sets: a mistake was made at the time of extraction – that is, at the initial moment of using the program – or there may be a remote wipe if is configured.
A remote wipe could be done through a Google account associated with the phone or if, for example, Sabag Montiel had configured the phone to format itself after so many failed attempts to insert the access code – which does not seem to be the case. Sabag Montiel could not do it through Google because he was detained. The question is if anyone else did.
The company that markets the UFED is reviewing what went wrong
The company that sells the UFED is reviewing what went wrong, judicial sources commented. The same sources are optimistic that this information will finally be accessible. From the phone’s memories they managed to extract data that is being analyzed.
Neither the court nor the prosecution believe that what happened was the PFA’s responsibility and, according to what they have been able to reconstruct Page 12, was not the tenor in which the PSA experts testified. However, there are those who wonder if the force should have intervened in the extraction of the telephone when Capuchetti and Rívolo inquire whether the guard – made up of members of the PFA – was negligent at the time of the attack on the vice president at the door of her apartment in Juncal. and Uruguay.
“The expertise of the telephone, according to the specialists in this type of analysis, must be carried out with initial care: as soon as there is contact with the telephone, it must first be turned off and then placed in a bag called faraday, which prevents it from remotely erase the contents of the phone. If that was not done, what happened can happen,” warns the former Minister of Security Sabina Frederick.
Former Security Minister Sabina Frederic does not believe that the PFA should be part of the investigation
consulted by Page 12 about whether PFA should be part of the investigation, Frederic suggested no. “I recommend not. The PFA has been part of the circumstances. I know that there is a summary that began. It is clear that the scenario was not foreseen and that there are a number of issues that did not occurFrederic explains.
the other question is why the office of the Public Prosecutor’s Office was not used for these casesthe General Directorate of Investigations and Technological Support for Criminal Investigation (DATIP). Alejandra Gils Carbo created this instrument when progress was being made in the implementation of a procedural code that would put prosecutors at the head of judicial investigations and judges to control that guarantees are not violated.
Rívolo, in general, gives intervention to the DATIP to carry out analyses, but not extractions. According to sources from the Attorney General, the version of UFED that DATIP has is less sophisticated than the version with which the security forces intervened, which may also have influenced the decision.
Phone formatting fell like a bucket of cold water for the circle closest to CFK. His lawyer Gregorio Dalbon he warned that “everyone who touched it will have its consequences”. The vice president is expected to appear in the case, something that has not been formalized at the moment.
Along the same lines as Dalbón, the deputy spoke Rodolfo Tailhade, president of the Justice Commission of the Lower House. “The procedure failed because they wanted it to fail. The judge and the prosecutor are determined to guarantee the impunity of the act, the cover-up of the intellectual authors or of all those who are related. It is not possible to understand how in a case of such magnitude they have not kept the minimum precautions. They showed absolute negligence regardless of the responsibility that the security forces or those who intervened may have,” Tailhade complained.