Colombia’s Supreme Court on Thursday called on FARC congressman “Jesus Santrich” to appear on July 9 to defend himself against a US claim he conspired to traffic drugs during the country’s peace process.
The court announced Santrich’ first day in court on Twitter three weeks after formally calling the FARC faction leader in the House of Representatives to trial.
According to the US Department of Justice (DOJ), Santrich conspired to traffic 10 tons of cocaine but has so far failed to present evidence to back this claim.
According to the FARC and its chief representative in the House, Santrich was “framed” by the DEA and former chief prosecutor Nestor Humberto Martinez.
Santrich spent more than a year in jail after Martinez ordered his arrest in April last year after the US filed an extradition request.
But the FARC leader was released from jail at the end of May after the war crimes tribunal rejected the extradition request and the Supreme Court removed the prosecution from the case.
The DOJ refused to cooperate with the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP). According to the Supreme Court, US authorities “the American authorities have given and expressed all the will to secure the judicial cooperation required in this case.”
But when the court wanted to hear the testimony of DEA informant Marlon Marin earlier this month, the DOJ said that their witness “will need adequate time to ensure that they understand those rights and guarantees in the context of the Colombian process.”
The DEA’s attempts to link Santrich to drug trafficking triggered a major crisis in Colombia’s peace process last year and has since led to criminal charges in Colombia against the US counternarcotics who allegedly investigated the FARC leader without any kind of warrant and allegedly used entrapment, which is illegal in the South American country.