The suspended Bogota mayor Samuel Moreno faces four charges in his corruption case, which could lead to over 20 years in prison, with Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office stating that he demanded $2.8 million (COP5 billion) from the Nule Group construction firm.
Moreno will have to answer to the charges of embezzlement, extortion, malfeasance by omission and contracting without legal requirements, a combination of which could lead to 20 years in prison, according to former Prosecutor General Alfredo Gomez Mendez, RCN Radio reported. His judicial proceedings are due to begin on July 29 at 7:30AM.
Regarding the crime of extortion, Prosecutor General Viviane Morales said that the disgraced Nule Group construction firm had declared that Moreno, either directly or through an intermediary, demanded payments of $2.8 million (COP5 billion) from them for attainment of various public works-related contracts, Caracol Radio reported.
Samuel Moreno has maintained his innocence since the scandal emerged in October 2010, reiterating these sentiments Tuesday by stating that he is “convinced of not having infringed any rule of the Penal Code,” insisting that “I have never requested money, nor ordered contracts with specific people or facilitated another [person] to appropriate funds of the state,” Caracol Radio reported.
Moreno was suspended from his post as Bogota mayor in early May by Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez, after apparent irregularities in the awarding of public works contracts to the Nule Group construction firm, who have also been indicted.
The scandal began to unravel when a tape recording surfaced, capturing a conversation between one of the Nule Group directors and former Congressman German Olano that implicated Samuel Moreno and his brother, ex-Senator Ivan Moreno, in the corruption scandal.