Arrest warrant for Colombia’s ex-peace commissioner re-revoked

A Colombian judge re-revoked the international capture order for Colombia’s ex-peace commissioner, who fled the country before facing charges.

According to local reports, Wednesday, after three days of hearings Judge Johana Rodriguez re-cancelled the international arrest warrant for ex-Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo.

Restrepo fled Colombia earlier this year, before charges for his alleged role in the 2006 false demobilization of a fake FARC guerrilla unit could be brought against him.

Wednesday’s decision is the second time Judge Rodriguez has cancelled the order to capture Restrepo. Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office critisized Rodriguez for his earlier decision.

“The Office respects the decisions, but there are some who feel that agencies should evaluate [the evidence] and see it taken with some foundation.” said the head of the office’s anti-corruption unit.

In explaining his decision Rodriguez cited lack of evidence connecting Restrepo to the false demobilization. “You can’t say the Peace Commissioner has conspired with members of the Army and the demobilized in the trail in question.” said Rodriguez.

The judge also said there were inconsistencies in the the testimony against the ex-peace commissioner.

In closing Rodriguez acknowledged that people were paid money and promised legal benefits for pretending to be demobilized guerrilla fighters during Restrepo’s time in office, but said there was no evidence indicating the then-commissioner knew of these events.

Restrepo served as peace commissioner under former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. Uribe has been a staunch supporter of Restrepo, and has called him a victim of “criminal vengeance” by those who seek to prosecute him.

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