"For the first time, a former president will have to appear before a judge to assume criminal responsibility for very serious events," Senator Cepeda pointed out.
On Thursday, the victims of State terrorism asked the Attorney General's Office to call former President Alvaro Uribe to trial. This happened after Bogota's Judge 28 Carmen Ortiz decided to continue with an investigation against him for procedural fraud and bribery of witnesses.
"We make a very respectful and frank appeal to Attorney General Francisco Barbosa. The only thing that proceeds in law and in justice is a call to trial as soon as possible," said Senator Ivan Cepeda, who is one of the victims and belongs to the leftist alternative democratic pole party.
After listening to the parties during a virtual hearing that lasted over eleven hours, Judge Ortiz decided that the arguments presented by the prosecutor Gabriel Jaimes, who requested to dismiss the investigations against Uribe, were not admissible. Her decision means that a trial against this politician might begin.
"For the first time, a former president will have to appear before a judge to assume criminal responsibility for very serious events," Cepeda pointed out.
The Prosecutor's Office, the Attorney General's Office and Uribe's defense attorneys had asked Judge Ortiz to dismiss the case arguing that there was no evidence to show that Uribe had actively participated in the search for false witnesses against Cepeda.
Colombia's former right-wing President Uribe -- a blatantly corrupt war criminal who supports fascist death squads to kill leftists, labor organizers, and peasants -- works closely with drug cartels, and he enjoys bipartisan support in the UShttps://t.co/9YuxUIDR5J— Benjamin Norton (@BenjaminNorton) October 11, 2020
This case began in 2012 when Cepeda filed a complaint against Uribe in the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), which initiated a process against the former president for witness tampering.
In mid-2018, the Supreme Court summoned Uribe for investigation for procedural fraud and bribery, since its investigations indicated that this politician tried to manipulate the versions of several former paramilitaries so that they would testify against Cepeda.
In August 2020, judges issued a house arrest order against Uribe, who had to resign his seat in the Senate and lose his parliamentary immunity. The case then went to the Prosecutor's Office.
Judge Ortiz's decision "claims judicial independence and is the consequence of all the work done by human rights defenders, victims and investigative journalists," Cepeda's attorney Reynaldo Villalba, said. "It is also the vindication of prosecutors and judges who have suffered persecution for fulfilling their constitutional mission."