Uribe to face fraud and bribery charges ‘with patriotic spirit’

Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe said Monday that he will face fraud and bribery charges on Tuesday “with a patriotic spirit.”

In a brief statement, Uribe told reporters in Congress that he “never thought that the defense of honor… would generate such judicial difficulties.”

The former president is expected to be heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday because he is suspected of bribing witnesses in an attempt to file fraudulent charges against a senator who was unveiling the Uribe family’s allegedly criminal past.

How Colombia’s former president got himself with one foot in prison

The current case is one of 14 brought before the Supreme Court that, among other things, is also investigating Uribe’s alleged complicity in two massacres and the murders of three human rights defenders.

A day before becoming Colombia’s first ever former president to face criminal charges before the Supreme Court, Uribe insisted that he acted “with love for Colombia” and “in accordance with the constitution.”

The Supreme Court suspects the former president acted out of self interest and masterminded a criminal conspiracy to discredit witnesses who have testified he and his brother founded death squads in the 1990s and sought to “politically finish off”  leftist Senator Ivan Cepeda.

Why Colombia’s former president is accused of forming bloodthirsty death squads

Uribe filed the allegedly fraudulent criminal charges against Cepeda in 2012 and 2014 using the testimonies of allegedly bribed witnesses.

The Supreme Court absolved the leftist senator in February last year and instead opened a criminal investigation against the former president and leader of the far-right Democratic Center Party.

If Uribe is found guilty, he could be sentenced to prison for a period of between six and eight years. The court may send the former president to jail on Tuesday if the judge leading the investigation finds merit in doing so.

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