Time for the verdict.
Eight friends aged 21 to 23, teammates of a small rugby club, face life imprisonment for a fatal beating after leaving a nightclub, at the end of a month-long trial on Monday. shocked Argentina, as the murder had moved it three years ago.
Life imprisonment was requested against Maximo, Ciro, Matias, Blas, Lucas, Luciano, Enzo and Ayrton, accused of aggravated homicide because committed in a meeting and with premeditation, according to the prosecution.
On January 18, 2020 at dawn, after a fight started in a nightclub in Villa Gesell (370 km from Buenos Aires), a seaside resort popular with young people, the protagonists were expelled from the establishment.
The 'trial of the rugby players' has become a daily soap opera in Argentina
Then, outside, the defendants, vacationers from Zarate 450 km away, isolated, punched and kicked Fernando Baez Sosa, an 18-year-old student, who died of his injuries.
At the trial in Dolores, 220 km from Buenos Aires, the prosecution invoked a “willingness to kill” shared “by all”, a “synchronized coordination” of the attack, during which the assailants prevented anyone from coming to the aid of the victim, a son of Paraguayan immigrants and from a modest background.
"Negro de mierda!"
shouted some of them.
Fernando's family lawyer, a civil party, also asked for life.
The defense pleaded for the acquittal of the head prosecuted, affirming that the premeditation was never demonstrated.
And she demanded a reclassification in assault and battery in a brawl, having resulted in death without intention to give it - which would bring the maximum penalty to six years - or "simple homicide" (25 years).
At their last speech after the pleadings, the defendants, mute and prostrate during most of the trial, asked for forgiveness and clemency, assuring, some in tears, that they "never intended to kill".
The drama, concerning young people then 18-20 years old and marked by great violence, had caused great emotion in Argentina at the time, sparking demonstrations in several cities, including Villa Gesell and Buenos Aires.
The "rugbymen's trial" has become a daily soap opera and has sparked many debates, in particular on masculinity, racism, the pack effect or even the alcoholism of young people.