Former Colombian president denounces decision to put him on trial

Influential former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe on Wednesday denounced as “political vengeance” the decision by national prosecutors to put him on trial in a witness tampering case that has darkened his legacy.

Uribe insisted in a video message that there was no evidence against him, a day after prosecutors announced plans to formally charge him with bribing witnesses in a criminal proceeding and procedural fraud.

This would make Uribe the first former president to be tried in Colombia.

FORMER VENEZUELAN OIL Czar ARRESTED IN CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION

The charges against Uribe stem from allegations made a decade ago by an opposition senator that Uribe was linked to the creation of a paramilitary group. The former president was accused of bribing former paramilitaries to change their testimonies.

Alvaro Uribe

Senator and former president Álvaro Uribe arrives at the Supreme Court to be questioned as part of an investigation into accusations of witness tampering in Bogota, Colombia, October 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia, file)

Uribe accused the senator of slander, but that case was dismissed and the Supreme Court instead opened criminal proceedings against Uribe over allegations of witness manipulation.

“This trial is being conducted because of political presumptions, personal animosities, political vengeance, without any evidence to conclude that I was trying to bribe witnesses or deceive justice,” said Uribe, president from 2002 to 2010 .

Uribe was under house arrest in this case for two months in 2020.

Uribe faces up to 12 years in prison for witness bribery and eight years in prison for procedural fraud.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Under previous administrations, Colombian prosecutors twice tried to dismiss the case after saying they had failed to establish “the criminal responsibility of the accused.” These requests were rejected by criminal judges.

Source

Leave a Comment