‘Bribery allegations won’t stop Supreme Court vote’

Colombia’s Supreme Court President Jaime Arrubla said Friday that the judicial body will vote to elect a new prosecutor general, despite Judge Luis Javier Osorio’s allegations of bribery attempts, reports W Radio.

“We have to continue to vote, any comments and complaints cannot stop things. The court stated that this shortlist of three candidates is valid, it is a legitimate shortlist of three, which is composed of three great lawyers,” said Arrubla.

Osorio claims that he was offered jobs for his relatives in exchange for his vote for Margarita Cabello Blanco in the latest round of the elections. Cabello denies any involvement in the alleged bribery attempt.

Arrubla said that Osorio’s complaints would be put to a plenary session of the Supreme Court which would “investigate the facts” to determine whether there is “reality or fantasy in the story,”

After three hours of voting on Thursday, Colombia’s Supreme Court failed to elect a new national prosecutor general for the sixteenth time in a year.

The election failed yet again because none of the candidates managed to obtain the sixteen votes required to elect a prosecutor general.

Uribe’s outgoing administration at the end of July presented a bill to the nation’s House of Representatives proposing that the responsibility for selecting the country’s prosecutor general be transferred from the Supreme Court to the president.

Outgoing Minister for Justice and the Interior Fabio Valencia Cossio said that the bill was a joint initiative with the incoming government of President-elect Juan Manuel Santos, but his replacement German Vargas Lleras said he intends to withdraw the project.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Commission for Investigation and Accusation, along with the prosecutor general’s investigative body, the CTI, will investigate accusations by the Uribe family that Supreme Court Magistrate Yesid Ramirez obstructed the course of justice by requesting an investigation into bribery claims involving Tomas Uribe.

Chairman of the House of Representatives commission Javier Vergara said that the investigation will consider all the evidence brought by the complainant which the committee deems relevant.

Ramirez drew the wrath of President Uribe after he asked for an investigation into allegations that Tomas Uribe bribed congressmen to ensure his father’s re-election in 2006.

President Uribe responded by strongly condemning the investigation, saying that the judicial body was “destroying justice” and “replacing it with hatred.”

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