Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office is investigating suspicions that demobilized paramilitary commanders bribed the transitional justice system that was supposed to try their crimes, newspaper El Tiempo reported.
According to the daily, paramilitary commanders “El Mellizo” and “Diego Vecino” had received judicial benefits that could’ve been the result of bribery.
The country’s top prosecution office began investigations into the country’s justice system after receiving audio in which its own top anti-corruption chief appeared to be conspiring with Supreme Court judges to fix rulings.
While investigating, the prosecution stumbled upon a Supreme Court ruling to bar the extradition of “Diego Vecino” and a ruling by the Justice and Peace Tribunal to keep granting judicial benefits to “El Mellizo” in spite of his dissent to the demobilization of paramilitary umbrella organization AUC.
The new testimony centers upon Hilda Niño, a former prosecutor in the Justice and Peace Tribunal and significantly the wife of fake defense attorney Gustavo Calero.
The fake attorney allegedly entered Bogota‘s La Picota prison to barter deals with El Mellizo’s right-hand man.
Niño and her husband also allegedly conspired to help the now-extradited paramilitary drug lord to keep receiving judicial benefits agreed with the government of President Alvaro Uribe.
Against the agreement, El Mellizo continued to run drug trafficking routes after the demobilization of the AUC between 2003 and 2006.
Niño was recently imprisoned for her dealings with El Mellizo and is now also suspected of also having colluded with Supreme Court justice Leonidas Bustos to successfully block the extradition of Vecino.
Bustos is one of the Supreme Court justices suspected of receiving bribes from politicians who allegedly colluded with the AUC.
One of the prosecutors investigating the suspicions told El Tiempo that the possible compromise of the transitional justice system was “serious” and could amplify to include other court decisions that ended up favoring paramilitary war lords.