‘Parapolitics’ senator’s lawyer gets 3 years for attempted bribery

Bogota’s High Tribunal has confirmed a 36 month prison sentence for the lawyer of an ex-senator charged with “parapolitics,” for attempted bribery of a key witness, Colombian media reported Wednesday.

The decision was based on prosecutors’ evidence that lawyer Ramon Ballesteros offered a large sum of money to ex-paramilitary David Hernandez Lopez, alias “Diego Rivera,” to testify in favor of his client. The evidence included a video recorded in February, as well as Hernandez Lopez’s own testimony.

The video, which was recorded at an airport in Virginia, U.S. on February 9, shows Ramon Ballesteros offering Hernandez Lopez $100,000 to testify in favor of Colombian Senator Luis Alberto Gil, who is currently in prison awaiting trail on charges of supporting paramilitary organization the AUC.

Diego Rivera told investigators that, as part of a prearranged agreement with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), he led Ballesteros to believe that he would take the bribe.

Other evidence in the decision included part of the $100,000, which was discovered in Ballesteros’ office.

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