The soccer player Nicolás Schiappacasse has to face Justice for the second time in a few days. After his statement about the videos of the celebrations of the Peñarol players celebrating deaths linked to violence in football, now the player faces another process after being arrested carrying a weapon when he was on his way to the classic match that was played this Wednesday in Maldonado.
However, unlike the previous occasion, the chances of it being formalized and receive sanctions from the hearing they are older in this case -the previous one was archived-, since it was seized a 9 millimeter gun with 8 ammunition during the operation.
From now on, they appear several possible scenarios (andhe player has no record and that works in his favor when receiving a penalty): on the one hand, there is the possibility that the Justice determines that Schiappacasse obtained the weapon through a robbery (the weapon was reported stolen). The minimum penalty would then be two years in prison -expandable to a minimum of three if it corresponded to police forces- and there would be a crime of reception or concealment.
For another, it may be the case that the footballer has made the revolver from an unknown source and the judge determines that there was a illegitimate possession of weapons, which can be taken as fault, if you do not have the regularized papers, or crime, as explained to The Observer the criminal lawyer Juan Fagúndez.
“He can even go to jail for that,” he specified, referring to the eventual sentence of three to 18 months in prison. “For him to go, the Justice can determine that he committed a crime of possession or carrying a weapon that is filed, stolen or something else,” he explained.
This is stated in article 152 BIS of the Constitution: “Whoever carries or has in his possession firearms, ammunition, explosives and other related materials, whose identification signs have been altered or suppressed, or whose characteristics or ammunition have been altered , circumstantially or permanently, in such a way as to significantly increase its damage capacity, it will be punished with three to eighteen months in prison“.
“By the mere carrying of the weapon, it would be (a sentence) without seclusion. They can convict him, but he wouldn’t go to jail. If it is for other crimes it may be different“, he said, for his part the criminal Germán Aller.
In relation to the carrying and possession of a firearm, the fact that Schiappacasse has consummated the crime in a public place, like a path. Whoever circulates without proper authorization for their possession or carrying, is punished with three to 18 months in prison, says the Penal Code. “It is a special aggravating circumstance that the crime is committed in a public spectacle or on the occasion of it”, he adds.
According to Aller, the fact of carrying weapons without being in conditions is already sufficient reason to consider the act as “reprehensible conduct”. In turn, he adds: “At that moment that you are moving the weapon, so that it is not carried, you have to move it without loading and not to the immediate hand. There it already has a (crime of) illicit carrying.”
The lawyer explained that in these cases it is normally enough with a criminal sanction, a record, restrictions to leave the country and Other measures related to community tasks.
Instead, he explained that there are several mechanisms to legally acquire an instrument of this type: “You buy the weapon in an armory, with a booklet and permitted ammunition. You can have possession of weapons and you can have it (the weapon) in your house lawfully, but it does not mean that you can circulate with it,” he said.
“If you do not have a record, as it is a sentence of less than three years, you can perform tasks. But that will be decided by the judge or the parties if they reach an agreement on the consequences,” agreed Fagúndez.
Schiappacasse told the police that He was transferring the pistol to a fan who had asked for it. The lawyer explained that if he repeats those statements this Thursday to the Prosecutor’s Office, Justice can consider the crime of association to commit a crime and add it to the case. “It can be complicated with the aggravating circumstance because there the purpose would have been for that weapon to have some effect in a public show or it was going on that occasion“, he detailed.
Given this scenario, the penalties range from six months in prison to five years in prison. “If you declare the same thing (as to the police) there you have the (crime of) fraud regarding the illicit carrying of the weapon,” added Aller. The declaration before the Police has no weight in the judicial process since only what is declared before the prosecution is taken into account.
In that sense, Aller raised one of the hypothetical scenarios: “If he was handing over the weapon to commit an offense, it would be necessary to see what the other was going to use the weapon for. But (the footballer) could be an accomplice to the conduct that was not performed. Co-author, in principle, no. You have to see what the motivation or purpose was for sending the weapon like that and what evidence there is.” If verified, “they can be charged with some complicity or attempted crime.”
Another of the crimes that could be charged is illegal arms trafficking, although it is not yet clear. For that to happen, there has to be a transfer of the weapon for financial gain or other purposes to obtain an unfair advantage. “You transfer it so that someone else can sell it, use it, consume it, among others,” Aller explained.
This crime carries a minimum punishment of six months in prison and a maximum of six years in prison. This is established in article 9 of Law 19,247, which refers to the crime of internal trafficking, illegal manufacturing of firearms, ammunition, explosives and other related materials.
To receive a sanction linked to that crime, the footballer would have to be identified as the “head” of an organization. “I don’t think it’s arms trafficking. Being plotted to commit a crime I don’t rule it out, but I think it’s something simpler, about doing favors for the bar,” he added.
Finally, the lawyer analyzed that the case could have become more serious if an injury was consummated: “If it happened that there was indeed a disaster, be it a death or an injury, he was going to do much worse than now. This is going to be the cheapest version of what could have happened to him. He could have been an accessory to injury or homicide. If he was the instigator and he got the gun because he wanted someone to be shot, that’s where (the crime of) co-author by instigation comes in. It is much more serious because he has the same penalty as the author.”