Colombian authorities withdrew the extradition request for former
minister Fernando Botero who in 2002 was convicted for stealing 800
million pesos from the 1994 presidential campaign of Ernesto Samper. Botero is now free to return to Colombia without having served a day of his 36-month sentence.
According to Canal Caracol, the Bogotá Superior Tribunal granted the former Defense Minister conditional freedom and withdrew the extradition request on February 2.
Botero, son of the famous painter, was one of the key figures in the so-called ‘proceso 8000’ and was convicted and sent to jail in 1996 for financing the Samper campaign with money from the Cali cartel.
After having served less than half of his sentence he was allowed to leave prison in 1998, only to be indicted again in 2002 for having stolen money from the presidential campaign funds.
Botero, a born Mexican, was able to avoid Colombian authorities, because he was living in Mexico, a country that does not extradite its own citizens.