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On Wednesday, a Colombian judge denied the attorney general's office's request to shelve a witness-tampering investigation against former President Alvaro Uribe.
After completing more than 10 hours of hearings, the 28th judge of knowledge of Bogota, Carmen Helena Ortiz, ruled that the former senator Álvaro Uribe must go to trial for bribery of witnesses and procedural fraud. According to Ortiz, 'It is not admissible for the office that without contradiction in a trial there is talk of preclusion of procedural fraud in the case of Racumín.'
This determination marks a critical point in the process against the former president. Not only because it means that it will be a judge who will determine whether he is guilty or innocent, but also because the Prosecutor's Office itself had said that the process should be closed (instead of going to trial). On the contrary, the victims had asked the judge not to close it and authorize the process to go forward to trial. Upon reviewing the case, Ortiz determined that the victims were right and the investigation could not be closed.
Since the process was not precluded, Uribe's defense can appeal the decision before the Superior Court of Bogotá, which now has the final word on the complaint.