Bogota‘s jailed Mayor Samuel Moreno’s suspension was extended on Monday as 17 of the capital city’s 45 council members were interrogated for their part in a major public works corruption scandal.
Colombia’s inspector general suspended Samuel Moreno, who is in jail awaiting trial for corruption, for 12 months, meaning he will not be able to return to office before the end of his term on December 31.
In his ruling, Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez said Moreno had committed “serious errors” in regards to the granting of public works contracts.
At the same time, prosecutors began the interrogation of 17 council members who are also suspected of involvement in corruptly approving the granting of public works contracts in exchange for a fee.
The interrogations will take place from October 24 until December 17 after a direct order from Attorney General Viviane Morales to open a preliminary investigation into the case where contracts were committed between 2008 and 2011 for various public entities such as the departments of health, transportation, water and sewage.
According to Morales, the council members will have to explain how they were hiring these contracts amid allegations of bribery and embezzlement.
The attorney general has denied that the decision to investigate had any “political overtones.”