Jesus Santrich is accused by the United States of running a drug operation in Colombia, which he and his FARC party flatly deny.
The Special Jurisdiction for Peace, JEP, ordered Wednesday the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation to immediately release Seuxis Paucias Hernandez, better known as 'Jesus Santrich.'
"The JEP applies the guarantee of non-extradition to Seuxis Paucias Hernandez, because the evidence does not allow the evaluation of the conduct nor does it establish the precise date of its realization," assured the special court through its Twitter account.
Santrich, upon being released, sent a message to teleSUR thanking all those who, he says, "believed in me and fought for my liberty."
The former commander of the demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was taken into custody by Colombian authorities April 9, 2018 after the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) requested his extradition on charges of narcotics trafficking. Santrich, a key member of Colombia's 2016 Peace Accord signed in Havana, Cuba between the FARC and the Manuel Santos government, always denied these accusations.
Absolutely thrilled to hear the news of the release of @JSantrich_FARC after a year’s incarceration on fake charges with the risk of extradition to the US. Also good to see @JEP_Colombia working how it was intended. Brilliant campaign support by @JFColombia & UK trade unions https://t.co/Q5m1yYfpr4— Jo Stevens (@JoStevensLabour) May 15, 2019
The Common Alternative Revolutionary Force political party (also known as FARC), which Santrich also leads, said the initial arrest was an attempt to sabotage the peace agreement. FARC party members had solicited Colombia's Supreme Court several times over the past year, demanding Santrich's release. In each instance the high court denied the request.
In September, the FARC asked the JEP for his release siting lack of evidence.
"The decision by JEP destroys the ugly scenario that the (Colombian) state and attorney general have been creating against me," said Santrich in an exclusive audio recording regarding his Wednesday release.
"This (decision) brings light and hope that the path to the implementation of the Havana accords. I hope this also paves the way for men and women who can't publicaly work for their defense for peace," said the FARC legislator.
He went on to give thanks again to those who helped in his relase and Santrich said he hoped the "government and attorney general respect the decision of the JEP and don't try to overturn the ruling."