Colombia’s prosecution announces no changes to disgraced Odebrecht investigation team

Colombia’s prosecution will not make changes to the controversial team investigating widespread bribery practices of Brazilian engineering firm Odebrecht and its local partner, Grupo Aval.

Acting vice-Prosecutor General Jaime Camacho announced this on Monday, two months after the resignation of former Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martinez.

The team had been taken off parts of the Odebrecht investigation in November last year after the Supreme Court found out that Martinez, Grupo Aval’s former judicial adviser, had a conflict of interest.

The special prosecutor that was appointed became redundant when Martinez resigned in May and the prosecution regained control over the investigation that has been marred by irregularities.

Multiple media reported that Martinez’ resignation came days before a court meeting in which he would be informed that the prosecution would be taken off all Odebrecht-related criminal investigations.

The special prosecutor had reportedly found multiple irregularities that would indicate that Martinez and the prosecutors appointed to investigate the Odebrecht case were trying to cover up parts of the scandal.

Why Colombia could never see Odebrecht’s bribery clarified

Camacho, who is now in charge of the investigation, told press that the controversial team would remain on the case “because of its large trajectory in the investigative body.”

What is uncertain is whether the Supreme Court will accept this after having been informed of the reported misconduct of Camacho and his team.

The court has so far remained formally quiet about the return of the investigation to the prosecution, but magistrates and sources close to the court have expressed its lack of confidence in the Prosecutor general’s Office.

But until the Supreme Court takes action, the same prosecutors who were taken off the Odebrecht case in November will be investigating the corruption scandal that implicates not just Martinez, but also President Ivan Duque and former presidents Juan Manuel Santos and Alvaro Uribe.

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