Colombia proposes president names prosecutor general

The outgoing administration of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Monday presented a bill to the nation’s House of Representatives proposing that the role of selecting the country’s prosecutor general be transfered from the Supreme Court to the president.

Minister for Justice and the Interior Fabio Valencia Cossio explained that the initiative seeks to transfer authority over the prosecutor general’s office from Colombia’s judicial branch to its executive branch.

Valencia Cossio said that the bill is a joint initiative with the incoming government of President-elect Juan Manuel Santos

The executive has clashed with the legislative throughout Uribe’s tenure, over issues such as the arrest of prominent government officials implicated in the DAS wiretapping scandal, the sentencing of retired army Colonel Alfonso Plazas Vega for his role in the 1985 Palace of Justice siege, and Colombia’s extradition treaty with the U.S.

In June, Uribe suggested the president name the prosecutor general because of the Supreme Court’s continued failure to elect the nation’s head prosecutor. To date, the Supreme Court has held fifteen unsuccessful election sessions.

The acting president of Colombia’s Supreme Court, Jaime Arrubla, called for international intervention, complaining of Uribe’s continued interference with the court .

In the face the “train crash” between Colombia’s executive and the judiciary, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) reported early July that it was satisfied with the rulings handed down by the South American judicial body.

Santos will take office on August 7.

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