A Cali court ruled Wednesday that an ex-senator who was convicted to seven and a half years in prison in 2009 for his links to paramilitary groups, is allowed to leave prison for having fulfilled his sentence.
According to the judge, former Senator Juan Carlos Martinez has shown good behavior and has fulfilled his obligatory three-fifth of his sentence.
In April of 2009, Colombian authorities arrested and detained Martinez for cultivating links to senior figures of paramilitary forces.
The following trial revealed that he had received both financial and organizational support from the Gonzalez Rivas brothers, also known as the “Kings of the Pacific” due to their drug trafficking operations.
In 2011 the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court sentenced Martinez to seven and a half years in jail for his connections to the Calima bloc of the AUC.
Martinez’ behavior has been controversial since his arrest in 2009. In early 2011 authorities transferred the ex-senator to a Barranquilla institution after he had thrown a lavish birthday party for himself in Bogota’s La Picota prison.
Also, local media reported that Martinez went missing for 10 days around February, 2011. The following month, rather than facing any kind of penalty, a judge then granted Martinez the relative luxury of home detention.
Nevertheless, the continued freedom of Martinez is not guaranteed. The Prosecutor General’s Office has just issued an arrest warrant for Martinez for crimes unrelated to his previous conviction.